California Residents Give First-Hand Account of Shooting at Mandalay Bay

A resident of Menifee, California David Marsh was at the final night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival. Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage when Marsh his wife and 22,000 other music fans were fired upon.

Marsh shared his firsthand account of their experience. They found refuge in a nearby hotel and took the time to talk to the shortly after the shootings.

Seconds before fired upon the couple was taking photos of their friends having a great time inside the concert venue.

“We heard what we thought were fire crackers, but then we knew it was machine gun fire. We ran for our lives. There were people down (shot) all around us but things were so crazy we just ran. Most scary night of my life,” said Marsh.

Marsh said the shooter was in a hotel firing down on the crowd.

“It sounded like a war zone,” said Marsh. “When we ran we ran through side streets, through hotel kitchens just to get away.”

“We were all really shaken up and in shock. Never thought something like this would happen to us or anyone here for that matter,” said Marsh.

People instantly took to social media to find out where their loved ones were or to let their family know they were safe. Casey Gavik from Southern California was at the concert and ran to the Luxor where the hotel was locked down.

Cyndi Mitchell also from Southern California said she ran two miles to get away. Mitchell wrote on social media that MGM and Caesars were evacuating people from the hotels.

Michelle Mears

Michelle Mears has a degree in communications and a love for our military. Michelle’s involvement in the armed forces began in college after bringing home a few pamphlets from various branches. Her father a helicopter pilot in Vietnam asked if she was planning to join, she said she didn’t know and then her dad said the unexpected, “Why not? Go for it.” Michelle got recommended to Officer Candidate School for the USMC by an Ohio Congressman while in college and went to boot camp in Quantico. However, plans changed and she ended up working as a journalist, while following and supporting her then husband's career in the USMC. Prior to coming to Southern California Michelle worked as a news reporter for a military news station at the Fort Benning Army base in Georgia. In 2000 while stationed at Camp Pendleton she worked a television reporter for a small station in Northern San Diego that aired a segment on a local CNN station every half hour and as a newspaper reporter for a popular weekly Northern San Diego paper called The Coast News. Michelle became the newspapers military reporter after the attacks on 9/11. She was eight months pregnant, a husband deployed and challenged by editors to stay fair and balanced in her reporting on the terrorist attacks and war from home. Michelle has continued to cover local politics and military news in Southern California for various news outlets as a freelancer. She is also the publisher of her own community-focused online and print magazine in Southwest Riverside County, a conservative, military supportive community. She believes in preserving the constitution and has been taking a series of gun education classes with her almost 15-year old son. Besides being a journalist Michelle’s greatest love is her son who also plans to join the United States Marine Corps after college.

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