The witness speaks out after filming at the hotel in downtown Phoenix

PHOENIX – An 18th birthday party at a downtown Phoenix hotel turned chaotic when a gunfight broke out downstairs and police soon flooded the room where the party was taking place, according to a person who was present.

Eight people were shot dead and one of them killed in the early hours of Sunday morning, police said. The incident took place at the downtown Hyatt Regency hotel. Phoenix police said those involved were linked to a party at the hotel.

While police didn’t go into the details of the party other than saying it wasn’t sponsored by the hotel, a man who attended ABC15 said it was his friend’s sister’s 18th birthday celebration, which was held on Jan. Floor of the hotel takes place. He told ABC15 that the shooting apparently took place downstairs in or around the lobby and they were made aware of the chaos while they were singing “Happy Birthday”.

“We sang happy birthday, everything was cool,” said Gabriel Ibarra. “Two guys ran in from the balcony and said, ‘They started shooting!”

Ibarra, a hip hop artist, said he wasn’t sure who was involved in the filming but believes some of them stopped by at the birthday party.

“Just to say hello really quickly and that was it,” said Ibarra. “I don’t know any details, I just heard they got into it, an argument with someone downstairs in the lobby, and everything just twisted up there.”

Phoenix Police told ABC15 that there were disagreements between two groups of people prior to the shooting. Police have not announced any arrests but said they have tracked everyone involved and are working through the interview process to see who did what.

Ibarra shared a cell phone video with ABC15 showing police officers giving orders to people to leave the hotel room. Ibarra said detectives asked him a lot of questions.

“You asked me everything you can think of,” said Ibarra. “If I knew who you are, if I knew what you look like, would you have got into an argument, have you seen someone crazy, did someone have a gun?”

Ibarra said the party itself was calm and he hadn’t noticed any problems before the violence on the ground floor.

“It was just a simple birthday party,” he said. “Nothing crazy.”

Fortunately, Ibarra said that the disagreement between the groups of people in the room where the party was taking place with around 40 or 50 people did not arise.

“It could have been a lot worse in the room,” he said. “But it’s a terrible situation either way.”

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