Upstate wedding photographer on Vegas shooting: We thought it wa - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate wedding photographer on Vegas shooting: We thought it was part of the show

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Stephen Gossett (file/FOX Carolina) Stephen Gossett (file/FOX Carolina)
Las Vegas, NV (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate wedding photographer who was at Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire said the entire event was surreal.

Stephen Gossett of Noveli Wedding Photography said employees of the company, along with members of FamZing Wedding Photography and Video, were in Vegas for the Wedding MBA Convention.

After spending the day at the conference, Gossett said they went to Mandalay Bay for a Cirque du Soleil show. They didn't know that on the hotel's 32nd floor, investigators said 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was armed for a mass shooting.

While they were watching the performance, Gossett said all the lights went out.

"They said they needed to handle a technical issue and they would be back up in a couple of minutes," he said. "We actually thought it was part of the show."

After about 15 minutes, Gossett said they were notified that there was a situation unfolding outside and everyone needed to stay in the hotel. Then eight heavily-armed officers entered the room and put barricades up at each door, Gossett said.

He commended first responders for their response to the tragedy. He also said his wife, Summer, helped keep people calm in the hotel.

"She's basically a real amazing calmer," he said. "She was like, 'look at these guys, there's no way anyone is getting through that door'."

The Gossetts and others at the Cirque du Soleil performance were held in place for 9 hours overnight until the lockdown was lifted at 6:30 a.m. When they left, they said the Las Vegas Boulevard was like a "ghost town."

"It was just kind of surreal," he said.

READ MORE: Upstate couple in Las Vegas for wedding expo during massacre

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