Las Vegas: Mass panic at Bellagio hotel after armed robber wearing pig mask opens fire in Rolex shop

Lizzie Dearden

A gang of armed robbers including a man in a pig mask have opened fire at one of Las Vegas’ most famous hotels, sparking panic among tourists.

Hundreds fled the Bellagio hotel and casino after the gang targeted its Rolex watch shop in the early hours of Saturday morning, hiding under tables or seeking safety in stairwells.

Mayra Guadalupe Yañez was on holiday with her husband and grandchildren when gunfire broke out.

An armed robber in a pig mask at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas on 25 March (@Kir_kamil)

She said she saw a man wearing a mask in the shape of a pig’s head and carrying a gun fleeing the Rolex shop.

“I heard three shots, he was carrying a gun and took the mask off while he was leaving,” Ms Yañez told The Independent.

“I started running as soon as I heard them. We're really scared.”

Several witnesses photographed the suspect, showing him wearing a dark shirt and trousers and carrying a bag. Some said the robbers used sledge hammers to smash their way into the shop.

Guests described “mass panic” as gunshots rang out at the Bellagio, with hundreds of tourists running outside from the casino area.

Police surrounding the Bellagio hotel after a reported shooting in the early hours of 25 March (Ama Arthur-Asmah)

“Everyone running, I'm currently ducked on the floor under a table,” a woman caught up in the incident wrote on Twitter.

She and other guests sought refuge in an emergency exit stairwell after hearing "shots and waves of people running, yelling 'run, run!'."

Police put part of the Bellagio on lockdown as guests were evacuated to safety, with dozens of police cars surrounding the resort on the busy Las Vegas’ Strip.

The city’s police department said it was investigating the robbery, adding that initial reports of an “active shooter” were false and no one was injured.

“The preliminary investigation suggests that at least three suspects entered a retail store to commit the burglary,” a spokesperson said.

“It is believed that at least one suspect fired shots inside the store. At this time, one suspect has been taken into custody.”

A member of the Bellagio’s security department told The Independent he could not give any more information on the incident.

“All I can say is everyone’s fine,” he added.

Parts of the Bellagio resort remained closed while the investigation continued into the early hours of Saturday morning – one of the busiest times for the gambling hub.

It is famed for its grand dancing fountains and lake, housing almost 4,000 rooms over two separate buildings, alongside a casino, restaurants, an art gallery, botanical gardens, shops and entertainment.

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