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Several New Mexicans among survivors in Las Vegas

KOB.com Web Staff
October 03, 2017 06:14 AM

KOB has heard from New Mexicans who were at that concert Sunday night when a gunman fired upon a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, and managed to escape. Here are some of their stories:

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WOMAN'S DAUGHTER ESCAPES TO SAFETY, FLIES BACK TO ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Hundreds of people landed at the Albuquerque International Sunport from Las Vegas. One mother waited for her daughter to get home.

"She saw a lot of bloodshed and people carrying other people out,” said Christine Tatro. “It was pretty traumatizing."

That's when Tatro's daughter realized those sounds she was hearing at the concert weren't fireworks. They were gunshots. Hundreds of them fired into the crowd she was part of Sunday night.

"She happened to see behind her and there were people in the air, and it was clear something else was going on," Tatro said. "And her and her friends took cover the best that they could until the lights came on and they were able to find a way through one of the fences."

Escaping to safety, she was shaken by what they saw and was ready to go home. She also made sure those who love her knew she was fine.

"I got a call this morning. Worst way to wake up, not knowing if everything's OK. And she had sent me a message late in the evening and I hadn't seen it," Tatro said. "I saw it this morning saying 'I'm OK. You'll know more when you wake up, but I'm OK."

Tatro booked her daughter on the first flight back to Albuquerque and waited with open arms by the gate.

"I can't even imagine what these families are going through. Just know that your child is safe is still a feeling that's overwhelming," Tatro said. "It's just prayers to the families and, you know, getting through -- the victims that are traumatized from what they witnessed. Prayers to all of them.”

~ Joy Wang

ALBUQUERQUE CONCERT SURVIVOR DESCRIBES ORDEAL

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- An Albuquerque mom is lucky to be alive after surviving the country's deadliest mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert.

Jenn Salazar said she was right in the middle of the chaos, trying to keep her daughter from being shot.

"We're really shaken up, we're still really scared," she said. "We just can't believe we survived it. We got out alive," she said.

Salazar and her 14-year-old daughter were looking forward to the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival for months. They won the trip from an Albuquerque radio station in May. She even brought her parents along for the trip.

She said the cheers and laughter during country singer Jason Aldean's set turned into sheer terror when a gunman started spraying bullets into the crowded venue from the Mandalay Bay resort 32 floors up. Salazar said she grabbed her daughter and they ran for their lives.

"While we were running, I saw phones, shoes, purses," Salazar said.

The shooting lasted just minutes, but Salazar said getting out of the venue took over half an hour.

"It seemed like forever. I couldn't tell you exactly," she said. "But it really seemed like it was forever and it was never going to end."

Salazar's parents stayed at their hotel during the concert, so they weren't there during the shooting. She said they were supposed to be in Las Vegas for another day and come home to Albuquerque Monday evening, but they started driving back in morning.

~ By Colton Shone

FOUR ROSWELL FRIENDS RETURN HOME SAFELY

ROSWELL, N.M. -- A much-anticipated trip to Las Vegas, Nevada turned into a nightmare for four Roswell friends.

According to family members, the group had been attending the Route 91 Harvest Fest over the weekend. The first two nights went as planned with lots of fun, music, and entertainment. The final night --- Sunday -- was one the group will never forget when a gunman opened fire.

As hundreds of shots rang out from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, the four friends tell KOB they were in an absolute panic as they ran for their lives. They separated from each other and took cover underneath cars in the streets.

As the gunman continued shooting at innocent people, the four survivors hid in total disbelief even calling family back New Mexico to talk one last time, unsure if they would make it back home.

All four survivors boarded a flight Monday Las Vegas and landed in Albuquerque shortly after. None of them wanted to go on camera Monday because they're still trying to process what they've been through, but at this time all are safe and back at home.

~ Leonard Tapia

ONE SURVIVOR HAS TIES TO FARMINGTON

FARMINGTON, N.M. -- Like many, Christen Robinson wanted a night of fun with friends at a country concert in Las Vegas. What she got, however, was far from that.

The California resident with family in the Farmington area ran for shelter near the stage when the shooter began to open fire on the crowd.

According to a post she made on Facebook, she is alright and is urging people to not take their lives and family for granted.

~ Meg Hilling

Credits

KOB.com Web Staff

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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