Kelowna woman witnesses Las Vegas mass shooting

The Kelowna resident heard the loud crackling sound of gunfire and the screams of panicked men and women

At first, Tami Johnson noticed the police cars and ambulances blocking access to the Las Vegas hotel where she’d been staying.

Then, when she got out of her Uber and started walking, the Kelowna resident started to hear the loud cracking of gunfire and the screams of panicked men and women, stampeding away from danger.

Related: B.C. man one of two Canadians killed in Las Vegas shooting

“The shots went on for five minutes … we just ran for safety and ended up hiding out in a ditch behind a gas station,” said Johnson, who hunkered down for four hours alongside her 13 year old daughter.

“Police kept telling us to get down and stay down … and there were people yelling and screaming. You couldn’t be anywhere near the strip and not see it.”

When gunfire ended, the chaos continued.

The parking lot of the Hooters hotel where she is staying is just a stone’s throw from where the country music concert, Route 91 Harvest took place. It was roped off for the investigation and Johnson and its other guests weren’t allowed into the hotel until 7 a.m. Monday. Once it opened its doors, it was far from being a homecoming.

Related: 58 killed in mass shooting in Las Vegas

“There are a lot of people who were killed that were staying in our hotel,” she said.

Victim’s services has set up in the hotel to offer support to those who are stuffering with the emotional fallout of the violence.

Those who witnessed unthinkable violence are making use of the service while others, who have who were simply displaced from the Mandalay hotel are finding refuge in the hotel’s public amenities.

“As soon as the hotels opened people flooded the casinos, cozied up under a slot machine and waited for the OK to go back to their hotels,” she said. “People camped out in the casino, sleeping on BlackJack tables and stuff.”

Related: Revelstoke women escape mass shooting

The atmosphere is heavy and getting their bearings is a struggle, though Johnson said she knows she’s lucky to have survived when so many didn’t. The lone shooter killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500.

“We’re in shock right now,” said Johnson.

“A lady we hung out with at the pool was one of the victims. She was killed. We spent four hours with her last night, and I even bought her a jello shot, and we talked about politics, Trump and guns …an hour ago I went downstairs and the group she was with said she had passed away.”

Pray for Vegas.

Posted by Tami Johnson on Sunday, October 1, 2017

Johnson said that the counsellor at her daughter’s school has already reached out to help in the days ahead. Otherwise, they’re still in the middle of the unfolding tragedy, and getting perspective will likely be impossible until they’re safe at home.

Just Posted

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Most Read