INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One year ago, 58 people lost their lives after a shooting that targeted concertgoers in Las Vegas. An Indianapolis woman was among those in attendance. The trauma from that experience is something that sticks with her. But, on the first anniversary of the tragedy, she said she is determined to find strength.
Angela Goffinet wears bracelets on her wrist that remind her of October 1, 2017. A trip out to Las Vegas with two longtime friends ended with them becoming witnesses to a mass shooting. According to Goffinet, those friends have helped her make it through the last year.
"They were really the only ones that understood," Goffinet said. "They were pretty much my lifeline through the whole thing."
While time has passed, her memories are still raw.
Goffinet and her friends spent much of that Sunday just a few rows away from the stage watching the final performances of the three-day music event. She decided to head back to their hotel on her own, before the last performance, because she had an early flight the next day.
"I’d gotten back to my room and about two minutes after that’s when my phone started going off," Goffinet said. "When I finally did talk to them they were running from the venue to the closest hotel looking for shelter."
Her friends made it out of the chaos safely and informed Goffinet of the violence that unfolded moments after she left the concert. As her friends sought safety on the Las Vegas strip, Goffinet was alone in her room at the same hotel as the shooter.
"I went into the back area and just barricaded myself back there and they told me not to answer the door for anyone and I just stayed there."
The friends were eventually able to reunite the next day.
"We just all hugged, all embraced," she said. "We’d been in complete shock."
Even months later, the fear Goffinet felt that day kept its hold on her.
"I couldn’t leave my house, I had really bad anxiety," she said. "You always question why is it not my time, why is it not me? But that’s not for us to decide."
Now, she said she is focused on embracing each day to carry on the legacy of those who did not make it.
"It's not going to stop any of us," Goffinet said of the tragedy and the ability to move forward. "It's just going to make us stronger and go on and continue going to country concerts and being this country family."