It’s been almost a year since the Las Vegas massacre, which claimed 58 lives and left hundreds of people injured.Today NBC Palm Springs sat down with two survivors, from La Quinta, who say this is a day they will never forget. The Route 91 Festival turned into the worst mass shooting in modern US history. A sea of chaos, flying bullets, and fear overpowered the festival grounds.
“It’s like a lot of firecrackers lit up at once. It was like–pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop…” said Jaime Mancilla, one of the Route 91 survivors.
These sounds will forever be remembered by Jaime Mancilla, and his wife Lynda, who say it’s a day that they wish had never happened. This was the couple’s third trip to Route 91, so they felt pretty comfortable on the grounds, but something about this festival seemed off to them.
“When it first started, people just didn’t know what it was, but when the stage lights turned off, that’s when people started realizing it was something serious,” Jaime told NBC Palm Springs.
Jaime and Lynda stopped dancing and ran away from the stage.
“Then all of a sudden you just hear the shots and about three or four police officers that ran by us…but you didn’t know where shots were coming from so you’re just ducking, with your head covered.”
A massacre was unfolding before their eyes, but Jaime knew what he had to do. When the couple dropped to the ground, Jaime got on top of his wife to shield her from the bullets.
“I was protecting her. I figured…if it’s going to be someone that it would be me…not her.”
Now, one year later, the couple is getting ready to go to a survivor reunion in Las Vegas where it all happened.
“I think it’ll be good for everybody. Just to closure,” added Jaime.
“I think some first responders will be there too, so to be able to thank them because they did a phenomenal job…and be able to be a light,” Lynda told NBC Palm Springs.
Jaime and Lynda say they feel fortunate to be alive. NBC Palm Springs will be talking to the couple first thing on Monday, when they get back from the reunion, to get a first look at how they are doing after, what they expect to be, an emotionally charged weekend.