El Paso

El Pasoans in Vegas during worst mass shooting in US history back home

El Pasoans in Vegas

EL PASO, Texas - El Pasoans who were in Las Vegas during the worst mass shooting in U.S. history are returning back home.

At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in Stephen Paddock's attack on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where country music star Jason Aldean was performing for more than 22,000 fans.

It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The 64-year-old gunman killed himself in the hotel room before authorities arrived.

ABC-7 was at the El Paso International Airport as a flight from Las Vegas arrived. Passengers, some on the Las Vegas strip when they heard gun shots, described their return flight as somber and quiet. Every passenger arriving in El Paso had a different story to tell.

Gregory Edmunds tells ABC-7 he hid in a nearby hotel after hearing gunshots. "I'm a little shook up to be honest with you," Edmunds said.

Katherine Stern-Gilbert wasn't near the strip when the attack happened, but she wiped away tears and kissed her husband as she recalled hearing about what other passengers went through.

"They were on the sidewalks and people started running toward them and actually knocked them down on the sidewalk and they were able to recover so they weren't trampled," said Stern-Gilbert as she recounted the experience of a couple she met on the flight.

El Paso District Clerk Norma Favela Barceleau and her husband, Jaime Barceleau, are currently in Las Vegas. They were at the casino at the Paris Hotel when shots rang out. 

"We start being shuffled around through halls go through here, go through here, turn here keep going all while my husband and I came across an elderly lady who had a cane and couldn't run. So we're literally carrying her," Favela Barceleau said.

She said they hid in a conference room for hours. 

"In the room we were in there was at least a hundred people, there must have been 2 to 300 people," she said. 

Favela Barceleau said she and her husband stayed with the elderly woman during the hours they were on lockdown. The woman's family happened to step outside for only a few moments, to see the water show at the Bellagio, when they got caught up with hundreds of people running towards them on the strip. Favela Barceleau said the woman was reunited with her family Monday morning, because the strip was on lockdown until 8 a.m. 

"Truly a scary, chaotic and tragic day," she said. "Our prayers go out to the victims who were killed and injured along with their families." 

She and Jaime are scheduled to arrive back in El Paso Friday.


comments powered by Disqus