Two people were dead after a man shot and killed a woman at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino registration desk in Las Vegas on Friday before turning the gun on himself.
The news came as the U.S. is reeling from the shock caused by a gunman who forced his way into a Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.
Police told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas that they received a call around 8:30 p.m. concerning gunfire in the lobby of the hotel. Paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital, where she later died. The man was pronounced dead on the scene.
Homicide detectives quickly discover the man and woman previously had a relationship, according to KSNV television in Las Vegas. However, it has not been reported what drove the man, whose identity has not yet been released, to kill the woman.
The area around the registration desk was busy at the time shots rang out, and witnesses said Excalibur patrons scrambled for safety.
“People just began running. It all happened so quickly. I'm devastated," witness Zakeyaha Amecker told KLAS. "I can't really put words. It's dreadful. That's all I can say.”
The Excalibur is named for the sword of King Arthur and sits on Las Vegas Boulevard in the shadow of the Manadalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Because of the school shooting that took place on the other side of the country Friday morning, the hotel shooting was associated with an extra level of fear for those affected.
The Las Vegas Sun reported Trisha Banks, 14, was with her sister and 80 other cheerleaders for a competition when she heard four shots and jumped under a table for cover.
“It's scary after what happened this morning and then this," Banks told the Sun. "How can people do this?"