San Diegan Describes Story Of Survival, Heroism Of Strangers At Route 91 Music Festival
I am Maureen Cavanaugh. It is Tuesday, October 3. It was supposed to be a great weekend of country music and partying in Las Vegas, San Diegan Brianna Warren and her two friends were among the people at the concert. What happened next is an unforgettable event that Breanna and her friends were fortunate to survive. Hank you for telling us your story. You were with your friends while Jason Aldean was playing on stage. Like cannot -- a lot of others you thought the first pops were fireworks. When did you realize that my have been gunshots and you were in danger?I never knew what gunshots sounded like. I thought it was fireworks or backfire from the speakers. As soon as Jason started running from the stage that is when I knew something terrible was happening. It still really did not click. I turned around and everyone was saying to get down on the ground. I saw my two best friends and we all just got on the ground and you could hear the popping. I still really didn't 100% know what it was. Going to this fun concert you would never expect this to happen.What did you see around you? I know that you were on the ground, but what did you see what you got up and started to run?It is kind of a blur, but there were people on the ground. We heard a pod's, I am pretty sure I heard someone say run. We all just started to run. I was holding my friends hand. It was just a stampede. There was no way that we can find each other. We all scattered. I ran toward the bathroom area, there is a tiny little entrance in the fence. That is how people funneled out.You called your family?As soon as I got out of the fence that was a police car and there were snipers on top of the car, pointed toward Mandalay Bay. There was a crowd of is that he a behind the car. As soon as the gunshots stopped the police told us to run as fast as you can! I ran and that is when I call my parents. I didn't know what was going to happen. We had no idea there was one shooter. I thought there were multiple. I didn't know. I call my parents and told him that I love them and what was happening.Now, when you were running you actually caught up with a group of people and asks if you can run with them and in that group there happened to be an off-duty police officer and a nurse?Yes.At the time there were rumors flying, what were you being told?First of all that family took me in like their own. They did not care that I was a stranger. She was hearing there were multiple shooters and they were entering Tropicana, New York New York, just gradually going down the strip. We heard they sold a police car. We did not know where they were or who we could trust.Did you see people while you were running away on the ground falling? Was it total chaos and panic?Complete panic. Luckily, I didn't see any of the carnage. I was on the other side, running away. By the grace of God I was on the right side to be on. I didn't see any blood. My best friend Elizabeth was shot in the foot. She is going to be okay. By some miracle it hit her boot and went in and out and did not hit a bone. It was complete chaos, people running through the streets. There were cars passing by. We were just crossing streets whenever we could.Elizabeth was held by strangers as well?Yes. The second that we got off the ground she thought the somebody kicked her foot and didn't realize it was a gunshot. She had no clue. This couple, I think his name is Cameron. He knew that she was alone and he said grab my belt, hold onto my belt and I will take you to our hotel and she followed them. She was safe and saved by them. I just really have to say this family is the family that help me and they kept me calm. A nurse named Beth held my hand the entire time. We ran for miles past McCarran Airport, past UNLV. She held my hand and count me calm because I was sobbing. I didn't know that my friends were alive.Where did you end up?There is a strip mall. One of their friends had a pickup truck and we all piled into it and they drove us to their families house.How are you doing?I am doing a lot better than yesterday. I am pretty much cried out right now. I am tired, but yesterday was extremely exhausting. I just thank God that my best friends are safe. We had another coworker and friend in the VIP section and they got out safe, but they did see a lot of injured. Actually, I need to say one more thing, the officer and a nurse, as soon as they drove us home they were insistent on going back. They wanted to turn around and go help. As soon as they dropped us off they went straight back. They didn't come back until three or four clock in the morning. They are American heroes. I cannot thank them enough. They are strangers, there is so much goodness in the world that the evil that we witnessed means nothing. There is just so many good people willing to help, complete strangers. That is what I want people to know. The American heart is good. We will prevail. There is just so much good that came out of this, even though it was a horrible tragedy.We are so happy that you are okay.Thank you. Me to. -- too.That story of survival was from Breanna Warris.
It was supposed to be a great weekend of country music in Las Vegas. San Diegan Briana Waris, 28, and her two best friends, Michelle Kenbeek and Elizabeth Carvalho, both 29, were among the 22,000 fans at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival when the rapid pop of gunshots began to be heard over the music.
"Going to this fun concert, you would never expect in a billion years that this would ever happen," Waris said. "It was just hard to comprehend."
Waris was watching Jason Aldean perform from the left side of the stage when the shooting began.
"There were people on the ground, we heard a pause, and I'm pretty sure I heard someone say 'just run,'" she said.
Holding hands they started running but were quickly separated in what Waris described as a stampede.
Waris found out later her friend Elizabeth Carvalho had been shot in the foot.
"She's going to be ok," Waris said. "By some miracle it just hit her boot, it went in and out and didn't hit a bone."
Waris describes the heroism of strangers, including an off-duty police officer and a nurse, with whom she ran with for miles to safety, in an interview on KPBS Midday Edition.