Connecticut travelers to Las Vegas return home following mass shooting

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WINDSOR LOCKS --  In the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, passengers began to trickle in to Bradley International Airport throughout the day Monday.

Many of the travelers were visibly upset while others were feeling a sense of relief to be back home in Connecticut after witnessing the horrific events that unfolded on the famous Las Vegas Strip the night before.

"It was scary it, it was. I've been around, I just never saw anything like that in my life,” Dusty Palmer of Wallingford told FOX61, as he struggled to put into words what he had just experienced only hours earlier.

"You just feel bad, its affected so many people.  Things like that just don't happen every day,” Palmer said as he waited for his luggage in the baggage claim area, surrounded by a somber crowd of other bewildered travelers.

The consensus among the crowd was that they were relieved to be back home, but still very much shaken by the deadly shooting that took place in Sunday night.

Palmer described the moments following the shooting from where he was on the casino floor of the Paris Las Vegas, just blocks away from where chaos had ensued.

"People started running into the casino screaming and then I saw a couple of people who looked kind of messed up.  But it was ugly, put it this way, it was ugly,” Palmer explained.  He went on to say hotel security later directed him and others back to their rooms where they remained in lockdown for hours.

"From my room I could see people, just tons and tons of people running,” Palmer described.

Palmer had been witnessing the scene that took place after a gunman took aim at a crowd of roughly 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, the three-day country music concert that went on at the open-air venue at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

"I was at Mandalay Bay the night before at a show.  So it's really scary to think that I was there.  I was there.  I was right there,” Tara Lanzo, of Springfield, Massachusetts, said in shock of just how close she came to being in the crowd of victims.

Lanzo’s close call echoed by James Magagnoli, of South Hadley, Massachusetts, who was at the country music festival all weekend long, including the night of the shooting.

“We left about 45 minutes early.  My wife just had this kind of weird ‘we have to get up early maybe we should just leave' and she’s a huge Jason Aldean fan so I’m kind of surprised that she left,” Magagnoli said.  The tickets to the festival were a birthday gift from his wife.  The two were breathing a sigh of relief to be back home in New England to see their two young children and to have come out of it all unharmed.

“Just being that close to where we were, we were literally right within 100 feet of the stage for the two days before and the majority of this day.  She looked at me probably 30 times over the last five or six hours and just broke down from it,” Magagnoli said.

Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 when he opened fire Sunday at the crowd of concert-goers from Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor hotel tower.