INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Returning home after tragedy, some Hoosiers flew into the Indianapolis International Airport Monday to escape the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“I heard it from my right side,” said Anna Travnicek.
Sunday night, Travnicek and her boyfriend, Travis Reed, were sitting about 15 feet left of stage when Jason Aldean performed at the Las Vegas country concert.
She remembers seeing smoke but thinking the rapid gunshots were fireworks, not bullets.
“I was just immediately scared. I thought I was going to die.”
From the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino, a lone gunman had opened fire on the crowd of concert goers below. Travnicek had been on some of the hotel’s higher floors the previous day and recalled just how clear a view they had of the venue.
Reed said it took roughly 20 to 30 more gunshots before the video board and music went silent and Aldean left the stage. They looked around in the crowd and noticed people nearby had been shot.
“So from that point it was, with the muzzle noise, it just sounded like people were behind you, beside you shooting,” Reed added.
The bullets kept flying. Reed pushed his girlfriend to the ground and tried to shield her body until they felt safe: “He grabbed me. He had his arm around me the entire time. We ran to the bleachers for what seemed to be 10 to 15 minutes which apparently it was not.”
Reed says he didn’t want to be shot laying down, and waited between reloads to take off and hide. Beneath the bleachers, the couple could hear bullets ricochet around them.
The couple eventually made it to a back area of the venue where they encountered more people, some of whom had been shot.
“We all just kind of had to fend for ourselves and kind of just guess what was going on. We didn’t know if there was a shooter on the ground, a shooter in the air, we just had no idea,” Travnicek added.
After returning home and watching the videos surface from fellow concert goers, Reed and Travnicek say they feel fortunate they made it out, and made it home safely.