A man who witnessed the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday said that he turned from being an agnostic to a firm believer in God after surviving the tragic incident.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured when gunman Stephen Paddock opened rapid-fire on an outdoor concert from his room at the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
In an interview with CNN on Monday morning, Taylor Benge recounted how his sister risked her own life to protect him.
"My sister and I, we started running to the left and every time they shot, we took cover," he narrated.
"My sister, being as noble as she is, she actually threw herself on top of me and was saying, 'I love you Taylor, I love you.' And I'll never forget that," he continued.
Benge then testified that his faith in God was restored after surviving the mass shooting. "I was agnostic going into that concert, and I'm a firm believer in God now 'cause there's no way that, you know, all that happened, and that I made it, and I was blessed enough to still be here alive talking to you today," he said.
Paddock's motive for the shooting remains a mystery, but some have speculated that debts, relationship problems, or his family history may have contributed to his drive to kill. It is believed that he racked up huge gambling bills before he went on a shooting spree on Sunday.
A report from CNN noted that Paddock had a cache of 23 weapons inside his Las Vegas suite, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition and an ingredient used in explosives inside his home and car.
Police said that the 64-year-old shooter fired for nine minutes on country music fans after the first 911 call. When SWAT stormed into his 32nd-floor room, they were met with the grim scene of 23 guns, ammunition littering the floor and the dead Paddock.
The authorities later revealed that he had set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway. The FBI is still investigating their use, but the Clark County sheriff said he believes Paddock might have set up the devices so he can watch for people approaching his room.
Eric Paddock, the gunman's brother, said that his brother was an avid gambler, but had no history of violence. He added that his brother did not seem to be too interested in religion or politics.
It was believed that the weapons were purchased legally, but Paddock reportedly modified them himself for a faster rate of fire.