Las Vegas mass shooting

Hong Kong raised actor Gil Darnell recounts ‘eeriness and luck’ after bloody Las Vegas carnage

Australian-born actor, who appears in new CBS drama SEAL Team, was staying next to Mandalay Bay Hotel where gunman set up sniper’s nest

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 7:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 9:24pm

A Hollywood actor who was raised in Hong Kong has recounted the “eeriness” of Las Vegas the morning after Sunday’s mass shooting – and his “luck” for not venturing out that night.

Australian-born Gil Darnell was staying at the Luxor Hotel directly opposite the site of the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

The hotel is next to the Mandalay Bay Hotel where 64-year-old retired accountant Stephen Paddock set up a sniper’s nest to pour gunfire onto the concert below, slaying 59 people and wounding more than 500 before killing himself.

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“I’d gone to Vegas to funnily enough get some work done without distraction, but the country music festival had been incredibly loud the whole weekend outside my window,” said the Los Angeles-based actor, who appears in new CBS drama SEAL Team.

“I had to get up at 5am to drive back to LA so thought I should go to the car to put my bags in the car but luckily had too much work to catch up on and stayed in my room.”

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Darnell said was he was alerted by an emergency alarm in his room and a warning that there was an active gunman outside the hotel.

Guests were advised to stay in their rooms and the hotel was placed under a security lockdown.

He watched the drama unfolding outside on CNN.

“I managed three hours sleep,” he said.

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“Then on getting up there was complete silence in the hotel – which is never the case in Las Vegas at any hour.

“On leaving my room my neighbour sat outside the door of her room sobbing.

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“I asked: ‘Are you OK?’ to which she nodded ‘Yes. Are you?’.

“I was shell shocked if anything after seeing the news reports and the description of bullets ricocheting everywhere around the concert grounds.

“There was an eeriness in the aftermath to be matched with incredible empathy for our fellow man among the citizens of Vegas that morning.”

Only since returning to Los Angeles has Darnell been able to take stock of the carnage that occurred outside his hotel.

“The luck I experienced by not wandering out at that exact moment and staying indoors,” he said.

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“How life can change in an instant.”

Born in Australia, Darnell was raised in Hong Kong and went to KG5 school. He is proficient in Cantonese. His IMDB bio says he is learning the Chinese martial art Wu Shu for an upcoming film trilogy he is writing and producing that is based on the true story of his twin brothers and will be shot in Hong Kong. One of his brothers is a Hong Kong policeman.