A central Iowa man was among those attending the country music festival in Las Vegas last night where at least 50 people were killed and more than 400 were hospitalized in the worst mass shooting in United States history.

Justin Zimmerman, of Dexter, says he was standing in the back of the crowd when he started hearing noises — but he wasn’t sure what it was.

“I just heard a bunch of popping and I looked over to the soundstage where the lights were at and I just thought something was going crazy, then you realize it’s not, it’s gunshots,” Zimmerman says. “The next thing you know, you look up and there’s a wave of people running toward you. I kind of just froze, just like ‘no way’. Then everything stops, and you think you just heard something wrong. Then another round of popping came and it was just pandemonium.”

Zimmerman says everybody tried to take cover as best as they could as the gunfire was going off.

He says everybody hit the ground or started running. “For a second there, I just got on the ground and you could just hear 10 to 20 seconds of non-stop ‘pop pop pop pop pop pop pop’. Every time it would stop, people would get up and start running. The first time I just laid down and then when it started again, people would just pile on top of you where you were at, and it was just crazy.”

Zimmerman says he got separated from the group he was with at the concert, but knows his friends are okay.

He says he had walked away from his friends to go to the beer stand. “I was all by myself for the rest of the night. It was weird because I just happened to walk away, and the next thing you know, there were 20-thousand people there, everybody was just scattering, it was unreal.”

Police say the shooter was found dead in a 32nd-floor room of a nearby hotel with as many as ten firearms.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City