- Poker player and Instagram star was caught up in the mass shooting on Sunday night
- Footage shows reserve police officer and gun enthusiast running for cover amid the carnage
Casino game ace Bilzerian, who owns a large collection of guns and has been a commissioned reserve police officer for five years, was on the concert stage at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, with lifelong friend Jake Owen, when indiscriminate firing broke out from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 and injured over 500 using semi-automatic weapons in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Footage taken by a friend and posted to Instagram by Bilzerian shows him running for cover as the gunfire is heard in the background.
Speaking about the experience in an interview with The Hill, he explained what was going through his head during as events unfolded in Sin City.
“All I wanted to do was get my hands on a gun and shoot the mother f—er shooting at me.”Dan Bilzerian
Footage shows Bilzerian looking unsuccessfully in a police truck for a weapon, before heading toward a group of people shouting for help, where he saw a woman whose face was covered in blood.
He said that he ran back to the truck to see if he could find the keys and use the truck to get the injured woman to safety, but was unable to do so.
He can then be seen heading towards a cement barrier where he was joined by a uniformed officer. According to Bilzerian, he asked the officer if he could use one of his guns:
“I showed him my badge and creds and asked if I could have one of his guns. He had a pistol and a long gun. The police officer wouldn’t give me his pistol, I can’t blame him, but I didn’t want to be in this situation and not be able to do anything, so I had to ask.”Bilzerian
He went on to say that the mass killing had not changed his thoughts on gun rights:
“This is a situation where having my guns wouldn’t have helped me because the shooter was up so high. But at first I thought it was multiple shooters going around Columbine-style gunning people down, so you do what your instinct is, mine was to get a gun.”
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