We are back and we are ok!
We got to Vegas on the afternoon of 10/1/17, that evening was the attack.
When we got there in the afternoon, we checked into our hotel at The Linq and started walking down the strip to meet some friends to do some gambling at Planet Hollywood. We got to PH many hrs before we were planning to meet up, so we were gambling and drinking, typical Vegas for us. I was sitting at a machine and I just had this awful feeling of dread. I told MO I feel awful anxiety right now. I feel terrible in my stomach, like a ball of stress. I think I am having a panic attack. This made no sense to either of us, as we are on vaca, and a slot machine with a beer is one of my favorite places to be! I felt like I was going to puke, and like I was going to a job interview, or to give a speech. A terrible panicked feeling. But no reason???
I tried to shake it off and thought I just need a few drinks to relax. So we had some beers and met some friends and I started to have a lot of fun and let go of the worrisome feelings I was having.
Hours later we left our friends and started back in the direction of the The Linq (heading away from Mandalay Bay). At some point in time (I can't remember when), we did hear that there was a shooting at Mandalay Bay. That was the only information we heard. I assumed it was some type of a domestic shooting situation, plus we were about a mile down the strip from Mandalay Bay so we didn't think much of it at the time since we had no details.
MO was hungry so we went past our hotel, and through Harrah's (which was absolutely packed with people) to Casino Royale and got some food and were gambling there a bit more. Casino Royale is a very tiny place, it is nothing like the big resort/casinos. We were standing together in the middle of the casino talking about heading to bed. All of the sudden everyone started screaming and running towards the back of the building. I screamed for my husband to run and I ran towards the back of the building. There isn't really anywhere to go in that small casino so I ended up hiding behind a partition wall that separates the food court area from the casino. Many people ran past me and hid in a cleaning closet. I remember thinking the shooter will open the door and shoot them all and they will have no where to go! While I was hiding I called 911, but no one answered, obviously by that time the entire strip was in a panic and I am sure they were getting thousands of calls. I was sitting behind the wall trying to be as quiet as possible and thinking the shooter would walk around the corner and I would be done. It was so terrifying! Then my husband walked around the wall. Instead of running he had gone towards the panic to see what had happened and how he could help. I am glad he is brave and wants to help people, but wow that was so scary! He said he didn't know what scared everyone that caused them to run, but no shooter was in the casino.
We ran out the back door into an alley trying to get back to our hotel without going onto the strip. We went through a parking garage and got to the back side (non-Strip side) of Harrahs. We walked in and the entire casino was a ghost town. Not 20 mins before there had been thousands of people when we walked through, now there was no one but a few security officers. We walked all the way to the front of the casino, we wanted to go quickly to our hotel next door, but to do so we had to go out on the strip for about 40ft. The entrance was blocked off by security and a women was there arguing with them to let her leave. Security said they still did not know where the shooters were and that no one was allowed in or out.
We turned around and went back through the casino thinking we could get to our hotel by the monorail walkway. When we got there, another security guard was blocking that entrance and said the monorail is closed due to the security issues. We let him know we just want to go across to our hotel. He allowed us to go across the walkway and have our room keys ready to show security to let us in to get to our rooms. A little old lady was behind us and she said she was staying at The Linq too but she didn't know where her husband was and she wasn't sure if she had a room key. We took her with us and got to our hotel.
The elevators were a mess with people trying to get to the safety of their rooms. We go in an elevator full of people. There were 2 girls in there with us, I would say in there late twenties and they clearly had a lot to drink. They said people were shot by Mandalay Bay and had died. They said they were on the strip and saw someone run by with a gun and police were chasing them. We assumed that was why everyone had panicked and run when we were in Casino Royale.
We finally got back to our room and turned on the news. Since we were in Vegas we had all of the local news channels and everything was crazy with coverage of the shootings. At that time they were reporting 2 people killed, 24 injured. We sat in bed in shock watching everything and messaging family and friends that we were ok.
We went to bed late and woke up early. We turned on the news, the deceased count had gone from 2 to 50, then 58, then 59. Injured over 500+.
We talked to other friends in Vegas and found out what had happened at Casino Royale had also happened at many other casinos on the strip as many false reports had come out of shooters in other casinos, so it was a wide spread panic that went like a wave down The Strip.
We stayed in our room most of that day and near our hotel. The next day our reservations were down on Fremont St. so we moved down there for the rest of the strip. Police presence was much more prominent everywhere, which makes you feel safer, but also made you worry more. Everytime there was a scream you wondered if it was someone winning or if something bad was happening again. We came home yesterday and I am so happy to be home and safe.
Thank you to everyone who "checked" on us!
Prayers to everyone effected in Vegas and all across the US.
Back from Vegas - We are safe!
We are back and we are ok!