Photo of the Las Vegas strip, with the Mandalay Bay hotel on the left and the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue on the right, in front of the MGM. Photo courtesy Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)
Local Mother & Daughter Escape Injury in Las Vegas Mass Shooting
Mom Calls Daughter “My Hero”
By ROBERT NARANJO
Two local women, a mother and daughter, narrowly escaped injury during the Oct 2 Route 91 Harvest Festival country music concert in Las Vegas, NV. This is now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. There were 59 people who lost their lives and 527 people who were injured.
The wealthy gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, from Mesquite, NV, was retired with no major police record. He was perched on the balcony of the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, firing away with numerous automatic weapons at the large crowd of 22,000 people attending the Harvest Festival country music concert. It was about 10 p.m. when the shooting started. Paddock took his own life before police moved in on his suite according to media reports.
There were New Mexicans in the crowd. A woman from Gallup, NM, Lisa Romero-Muniz, regretfully, lost her life that tragic day.
Two Espanola Valley women, Holly Martinez and her daughter, Lily Martinez, were at the Harvest Festival country music concert but escaped harm because of quick thinking by daughter, Lily, in seeking cover as bullets rained down on them and the concert crowd that night.
In an exclusive interview with the valleydailypost.com, Holly Martinez was asked when they realized what was going on, “You saw people running?”
“Well–my daughter–you caught me off guard, I guess right now both of us feel blessed to be back.
It took us a while, it took everyone a while (to realize what was going on) — the first thing three shots went off, and they were close to us. And my daughter said, ‘Look mom, there’s smoke,’ about 15 feet away from us. It took the crowd a really long time (to react). All of us were in shock. And then more bullets came out–and there were five shots that I remember. Then Jason Aldean, (Country music star), continued playing, after the third round (of gunfire), he actually ran off the stage and the lights finally went out,” Holly M. recounted.
“Where did you run to?” Holly Martinez was asked. At this point, using items on her desk, Martinez demonstrated where she and her daughter, Lily were standing in relation to the stage. They were left of the stage looking towards the stage and fairly close. “Here’s the Mandalay Bay, and we were here,” she explained.
“You were pretty close to the stage,” the valleydailypost.com reporter commented.
Graphic shows the line of fire into the concert venue. Martinez and her daughter were to the left, facing the stage towards the direction of the Mandalay Hotel. Graphic courtesy Phoenix7777Own work (Own workopenstreetmap.org)
“We were pretty close to the stage. But we ended up running to the left of the stage. The whole crowd ran to the right side. They ran towards the “Strip.” It wasn’t until the fourth round that everybody dropped to the floor. People continued to say, ‘It’s nothing,’ but we ran to the left side of the stage to find a chance to take cover and there was a lot of people there. And we waited awhile; I don’t know how long we waited. And it seemed like longer and longer. My daughter, she was my hero, she’s the one that…um, she was listening and we both hugged each other.”
At this point, Holly Martinez’s eyes welled up slightly. “That’s enough. I appreciate it. Glad you’re home” the valleydailypost.com reporter told her and ended the interview. The valleydailypost.com reporter thanked Holly Martinez for her time and told her that on behalf of the community, everyone is happy that they made it home safe.
The shooting carried out from the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay is now the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Paddock rained bullets on the concert crowd from above confusing concertgoers as to where they were coming from. People just scattered in every direction amid the deadly gunfire. Police recovered 23 weapons from Paddock’s suite according to on line sources. Some weapons had been modified by Paddock to use “bump-stocks” to make them fire as if they were fully automatic.
A “Bump-Stock, or “bump fire stock”, or “slide stock” uses an external replacement stock that uses the recoil of the rifle to pull the trigger for subsequent shots. This addition does not classify the gun as fully automatic, but gives it some of the function of a fully auto machine gun. Graphic courtesy Phoenix7777
A Go Fund Me account has raised millions for the families of the 59 people who lost their lives and the 527 injured after Las Vegas police finished the dubious task of counting the number of people who lost their lives and assessing the number of injured according to media reports.
Lost in the statistics are the people who were not injured but are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is likely that every single person who experienced this nightmare that night in Las Vegas will carry these events for some time.
In Washington, House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, wrote a letter to House Speaker, Paul Ryan, asking him to create a select committee on gun violence to “study and report back common sense legislation to help end this crisis,” according to media reports. The U.S. gun violence problem is one of the worst in the entire world per capita in terms of death by gunfire according to experts.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which reads “”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The interpretation of this amendment has caused much controversy over the past several decades, with the gun lobby managing to prevent any serious measures regulating the possession of weapons by U.S. citizens. The major problem, experts agree, as evidenced in the Las Vegas massacre, and other similar tragedies, is that often times these crimes are carried out with semiautomatic weapons that allow fast rates of fire and use large magazines to reduce the need to reload, thereby increasing the deadliness of the attacks. Furthermore, some of the most violent attacks in recent years have been carried out by people with no criminal background, making it next to impossible for law enforcement to know when and where someone will carry out such cold-blooded action against innocent victims. Investigators are reporting that every gun, magazine and bump-stock used in this attack was purchased legally.
The valleydailypost.com is thankful that this Espanola Valley mother and daughter escaped injury in Las Vegas and acknowledges that they are having a difficult time dealing with what happened to them. The valleydailypost.com sends its condolences to the families of the 59 people who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the 527 injured. To the thousands who were not injured, this nightmare will remain with them for a long time. Seeking out professional help is necessary and advisable.
Cover photo in a larger format, with the Mandalay Bay hotel on the left and the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue on the right, in front of the MGM. Photo courtesy Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)