PATRICK COUNTY, Va. – A couple from southwest Virginia attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, where more than 50 were killed and more than 500 wounded by a gunman.
They shared their story with WSLS Sunday, describing how they were right in the middle when the gunman opened-fire.
Travis Sizemore and Melissa Wall said they were excited to be at the festival last week, standing right outside the Mandalay Bay hotel that only minutes later would become the gunman's shooting site.
"Nobody's in there thinking 'Hey, I'm getting ready to have to run for my life," Sizemore said.
Sizemore described his confusion when the first shots rang out.
"I didn't think it was gunfire. I heard it probably 10 times, and I looked at Melissa and I said I think that's fireworks, and she said no it sounds like a gun," Sizemore said.
Sizemore said it wasn't until he saw people running past him that he realized his life was in danger.
"There was people falling. I think I stepped on a couple people, and I think it was just from being trampled, and we went in this one small little area of the fence that I think somebody had even tore down to escape," Sizemore said.
"While we were running, I called my mom because I thought that it was my last phone call, and I wanted to tell her that I loved her and my dad and to take care of my kids and that I was going to run for my life," Wall said.
The couple ran across the street to the MGM Grand hotel.
"Once we were in the elevator, some ladies, they were from Pittsburgh, said we're staying here, and we're like we're coming in your room," Wall said.
Sizemore said it wasn't until almost a half hour later that they started to see the first reports on the news of the death toll. Today, the two still wear the bracelets they got from the concert that night. Sizemore says it's a reminder of the experience that changed his outlook forever.
"I'm not going to stop going to these venues, but when I do, I'm going to do a little bit of homework where the exits are, where security is, and those types of things that could potentially help you survive," Sizemore said.
Sizemore said he's thankful for the bravery of the first-responders that night. He said as he was running away from the gun fire, the officers were running towards it to help victims.