A Whaleoil reader’s friend’s first hand account of the Las Vegas attack

As Facebook asks what?s on your mind? I?ve got a lot today. #invegas I received an outpouring of care and prayers from people that knew I was in Las Vegas last night, I was in the middle of the concert. #route91harvest

I reached out to a counsellor to debrief what I saw. But as I know that many of you have questions I will give you a small account of my experience.

Working in events, this is always been a huge fear of mine, being open and exposed to a possible shooting because it?s an easy target for people with hate. I came to a three-day festival to enjoy my country music with my family, and I love Las Vegas. But this town has a different meaning to me now. I never thought I would be in the position of literally dodging bullets. And being lucky enough to talk about it the next day.

Jason Aldean was singing When she says baby and I heard the sounds of fireworks. I immediately knew that they were not, people paused and looked up at the Mandalay Bay. Seconds later more sound and I could see the flashes coming out the window at the hotel. The music stopped and the stage went black and the screams started coming. Rapidfire coming from a semi-automatic rifle is the sound you can?t get out of your ears. We got down and held our heads on the grass. The sound just kept going. People were starting to Flee, screaming run. When there was a small break of bullets me and my sisters grabbed arms and started running as well. I could hear the bullets landing next to my feet, people are going down all around me and I couldn?t bear to look. The amount of fear that ran through my bones was the only thing that kept my feet running.

We tried cramming behind and under a food truck only to see that I was exposed to the side as I could watch the people and the bullets ricocheting off the pavement I thought ?this is it.? I?m so close, I bet I?m going to feel a sharp pain in my side in just a moment. Hearing my sister call her husband to say that she loved him made me lose it. The window of the food truck was shot the person inside was dead. I kept that sight to myself.

The bullets still raining down, we ran with the mass of other people to bottleneck at the exits. They wouldn?t stop shooting, it was right over us. Some people are falling down and I could hear others stop and help them thanking God that they weren?t getting trampled on. There were kids in the arms of mothers and fathers, there were so many veterans there, so many people willing to help others get the hell out.

When we finally got out to the street people started screaming and there was more, still more shooting. I cried out to the sky ?just stop, get him? oh Lord take this man now.

The screams diverted the rest of us to seek shelter behind anything and as I ran along the street I grabbed a construction sign to hold over my head as I ran. It was something.

We made it inside the Tropicana hotel and just waited, seeing people in bloody clothing, Wounded responders. Knowing cell towers were jamming, I sent one text and just kept going inside, further and further away from the screaming chaos.

We all crammed into a bathroom stall and sat there for the next two hours. Until Police finally cleared the area and we were patted down by SWAT and escorted into the conference room where the staff was amazing and took care of us with water and towels. And we waited another two hours. Hearing stories of people that were in the hospital, hearing others break down in tears when they found out their loved one didn?t make it. The police were escorting us to exits when we could finally leave and they were cheered with an overwhelming response from probably 1000 people in that room. An uplifting sound.

The streets were empty except for emergency vehicles. And we made it home with the cab driver that we knew at 4:30 in the morning.

I don?t dare want to hear the politics in this or your view on gun control. Because for the victims they don?t care about the motives. They care about their hearts, minds and friends and family. #unite not divide. Criminals evoke fear in normal citizens, and it achieved just that. The mentally insane find ways to carry out their plans.

I never thought in a million years I would be writing from Vegas in the deadliest USA shooting. Be sensitive on social media. There are 22,000 people who witnessed what I did, they don?t need your opinions, they need your prayer. #godblesstheusa #countrymusicliveson

I basically wrote this so I don?t have to repeat it. It?s [redacted] difficult to process. Share this if you want to with others.