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

Learning the intricate ‘ins and outs’ of TaeKwon-do

Popular form of self-defense extends back to ancient times

Local archers off to international competition in Nashville

Deacon Barclay, Katlyne Glasier and Taylor Knudtson landed in the top 24 of NASP Canadian archers recently

Stettler youngster Jake Rock in urgent need of a liver transplant

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help with medical expenses

Subdivision & Development Appeal Board issues Paradise Shores decision, supports County

SDAB determined the developer’s application was incomplete

Local artist captures vivid images via watercolour

Woody McGibbon continues to explore boundless possibilities via watercolour

VIDEO: 5 of the best fathers in film

From Finding Nemo to Taken, here are some great on-screen dads

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Alberta Mountie found not guilty of dangerous driving causing pedestrian’s death

RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips also found not guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Three Albertans land ‘monster’ sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

For angler who landed the exceptionally large sturgeon it was an ‘incredible dream come true’

Toronto Raptors and their diverse team celebrated worldwide

Team is made up of players from the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Spain

Further murder charge laid after alleged targeted hits in two Alberta cities

Jimmy Truong, who is 27, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Louie Angelo Mojica

Pot edibles, topicals and extracts to hit shelves no earlier than mid-December: Ottawa

Health Canada wrapped its public consultation on the draft rules for cannabis products in February

We the North: Delirious fans celebrate as Raptors win NBA title

Supporters from all over Canada cheer Toronto’s triumph

Excited, anxious fans prepare for Raptors to play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals

The Raptors currently lead the Warriors 3-2 in the best-of-seven series

Most Read