Local business man was in Vegas near shooting - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local business man was in Vegas near shooting

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A Chattanooga businessman and his wife say they were just down the block from the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, when the gunman opened fire Sunday. 

The couple who had left the airport say their taxi driver got the warning to stay away from the concert area. 

Reece Varnell and his wife tell Channel 3, they were driving towards the Mandalay Bay hotel and could see it just up the road when the warning came out over the radio. They say it was social media tweets and Facebook live video that clued them into what was exactly happening just minutes later.  Area traffic came to a halt for several hours. Varnell says their cab eventually re-routed and they're okay. 

Varnell says this particular trip to Vegas was filled with setbacks at the airport due to delayed flights and a luggage issue.  He now believes those setbacks happened for a reason.

"So we really feel like it was a hidden blessing that all of these things went wrong or we could have possibly been right there," said Reece Varnell. 

Varnell added that the feeling in Vegas on Monday was one of unity and strength. 

"They're really pulling together to take care of our first responders, victims and trying to locate victim's families," said Varnell. "It's a really a feeling of unity in the city which is really cool because I think when Chattanooga pulled together... they're doing the same thing." 

Varnell and his wife say they are in Vegas for a business-related convention. 

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