Joy Allen was enjoying the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night when she heard what sounded like fireworks.
Then, she realized she was hearing gunfire.
“The first thought in your mind is, ‘They’re in the concert venue,’” she said. “There were bullets flying everywhere.”
Allen, a Rancho Cucamonga resident whose sister lives in San Luis Obispo, said she, her husband and seven other friends were in Las Vegas for the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival. It was the third year they had attended.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In the chaos following the shooting, Allen became separated from her husband. She and her friend hid under a table until the gunfire stopped, then left their hiding spot when a woman who worked at the concert venue told everyone to run to the left.
Allen and her friend ended up in the Tropicana, where people were bringing in the injured, and then ran out of the casino when a stampede started, Allen said. They hid in the bushes with another couple, then finally were able to get to the MGM Casino, where they were staying, and were reunited with the rest of their group.
“I prayed so hard, you wouldn’t believe. I was so scared,” Allen said, her voice shaking. On Monday morning, she said she and her husband were preparing to go back to California. Allen said she was afraid to go down into the casino at her hotel and be around a lot of people.
“I don’t ever want to come back here again,” she said. “I was traumatized. I can’t imagine what the families are going through that have lost someone.”
“Be vigilant and keep aware of your surroundings at all times, we can’t keep our guard down at all. The times in which we’re living in are very scary,” Allen said. “I have grandchildren and I can’t even imagine what kind of world they’re going to grow up in.”