A group of Irvine friends have spoken of their horror at being caught up in the Las Vegas massacre.

The men had travelled to Sin City to celebrate each other turning 40 this year and were enjoying the city’s nightlife when madman Stephen Paddock gunned down and killed 58 people and injured 527 from his suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel.

John Dow and William MacIntyre, both from Irvine were in a nearby casino when the gunfire started and heard the shots being fired.

John said: “I heard shots, but I didn’t think it would be actual gunfire, then William said it was someone shooting. I couldn’t believe it.”

The men were rushed back to their nearby hotel, The Cosmopolitan, where police and officials had them on lockdown until the 64-year-old madman was captured and killed.

John added: “We were all pretty confused and really didn’t realise the gravity of the situation. We weren’t being told much. People were phoning us from home telling us more information than what we knew. It’s pretty terrifying to know that we were so close to it.”

On Saturday - just one day before the shocking events unfolded - three pals from the group, Graeme Wylie, Bryan Miller and Steven Bryce had competed in the Las Vegas Triathalon, with Graeme even landing a podium finish.

The three men joined their friends later that day to celebrate their achievement not knowing of the horror that lay ahead.

Claire Bryce, from Girdle Toll, whose husband Steven was hurriedly escorted to a local fire station after Paddock began firing, spoke of her fear when she woke up and seen the news and had not heard from her husband.

The mum-of-two told the Times: “I was absolutely frantic and felt physically sick when I seen the news when I woke up on Monday morning. It took me a wee while to get a hold of Steven so I was in a bit of a state. When I finally got hold of him I have never been so glad to hear his voice in all my life.”

Laura Wylie’s husband Graeme was in lockdown at the fire station with pal Steven but had managed to text his wife to let her know he was safe.

She said: “Graeme had text me before I woke up to let me know he was safe but as the events unfolded I realised how lucky they all were.

“Even though I knew he hadn’t been hurt, I was still terrified in case this was a terrorist attack and their was more to come.”

Since the shooting - which is the most deadly shooting in American history - it has been revealed that Paddock was a multimillionaire who had taken a huge arsenal of 23 guns into his Mandalay Bay hotel room, which he then turned into a sniper’s den before opening fire on the Highway 91 country music festival on Sunday night.