Iowa Man Shielded to Safety in Las Vegas Shooting by ‘Calming Angel’

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LAS VEGAS, Nevada  --  Thousands of people witnessed devastation in Las Vegas on Sunday evening.

"It went from party mode, music to silence and then loudness of the gun he was shooting," recalled Justin Zimmerman from Dexter, Iowa.

As the gunshots rained down on concertgoers, Justin Zimmerman took cover.  He said, "Bullets start popping out and then everybody just hits the floor, running, screaming. I was behind a trash can."

As spectators ran for their lives, police frantically searched for the gunman.  Las Vegas police scanner audio from Broadcastify captured a police officer saying, "Be advised we are taking fire from a very high floor. We believe it's possibly coming from the Mandalay Bay."

In the meantime, Zimmerman somehow avoided what he describes as multiple waves of violence.

"It'd go for, like, 10 to 15 to 20-second spurts.  Boom, boom, boom, boom."

At the time of the shooting, Zimmerman was grabbing drinks for himself and the three others he was with.  Fortunately, all were spared from injury.

He said, "I knew the shooter was on my right so I needed to be behind something on the left, so I got behind the garbage can and structure by the beer tent."

As Zimmerman made it safely across the street from the concert venue, police continued their search and tended to dozens of others who died and hundreds more who were injured. Less than 24 hours after escaping the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Zimmerman was still in shock.

"The magnitude of this I don't think has hit me yet, that this is legit and really happening and it was an attack."

In the midst of the senseless violence, Zimmerman believes a higher power shielded him from danger.

"I was real close to my grandma.  She passed away a year ago and I guess she was my calming angel that kept my head clear and just steered me in the right direction."