California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    When a Massacre Hits Home

    On Oct. 1 at Route 91 Harvest, a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, a gunman fired on 22,000 people killing 58 and injuring hundreds more. This was the deadliest mass shooting in America since 1966, according the the Washington Post. There were students, friends and family of the California Lutheran University community in attendance.

    Bobby Bradshaw, uncle of student Rissa Gross was attending the festival for the second year in a row with his wife, Cindy Bradshaw. He was shot in the knee when crowds started to run, after being separated from Cindy and losing his phone.

    โ€œI was just trying to find some kind of cover so I was going for like a little cinder block barbecue pit that was there. Thatโ€™s when I realized thatโ€™s when I got shot,โ€ Bradshaw said. โ€œI felt it. I felt it go into my knee, through my knee and then I felt the bones crack.โ€

    Bradshaw said that he was trampled when he was shot in the knee but that โ€œgood samaritansโ€ helped him get out to an area called the โ€œNext from Nashvilleโ€ tent.

    โ€œTwo men โ€“ I donโ€™t know their names, I wish I did โ€“ came and scooped me up under my arms and said โ€˜Weโ€™ve gotta go, we have to go,โ€™ and they helped me get out to, you know, what was a somewhat safe position,โ€ Bradshaw said.

    After the men got in contact with Cindy, she and Bradshaw reunited right as another round of fire began. The two โ€œgood samaritans,โ€ along with Bradshaw and his wife, retreated to the Tropicana Hotel parking lot. In the parking lot, medics wrapped his knee and then the group hid in the Tropicana Hotel, Bradshaw said.

    โ€œThere was probably ten of us in the storage room. So we barricaded the door, stayed inside, and we stayed there for almost two hours and then my wife went out and said โ€˜you know we have to get help,โ€™โ€ Bradshaw said.

    A current graduate student in the teaching credentials program McKenna Johnsen also hid in a hotel. She and friend Anna Shepardson, a 2017 graduate, first ran to the Tropicana Hotel and then the MGM Grand Las Vegas, Johnson said.

    โ€œWe actually ended up in a locked office for a while in the Tropicana hotel,โ€ Johnsen said. โ€œAfter they [Tropicana hotel staff] thought it might be clear, they really had no idea, they said โ€˜OK weโ€™re trying to get everyone into the MGM.โ€™โ€

    Johnson and Shepardson attended the festival after winning free tickets. Johnsen said that the two had decided to get ice cream when Jason Aldean began to perform.

    โ€œMoments before, we were front row and we were lucky enough to have been somewhat towards the back where we were able to see people running and we got out fast,โ€ Johnsen said.

    Johnsen said that she and Shepardson were among 100 to 200 people on lockdown in the MGM until 4:30 a.m. when they were cleared to leave. She said that Shepardsonโ€™s parents drove from the Palmdale area at 5:00 a.m. to pick them up.

    โ€œI got back to Thousand Oaks at 3:56 [p.m.] and I was in class at 4:00 [p.m.] because I was like, you know, I want to get life back to normal,โ€ Johnsen said.ย 

    Getting back to normal is something Collin Crowl said he wishes for his friend and fellow 2017 graduate Katrina Hannah. Hannah was shot in the shoulder and neck and is still recovering in Las Vegas, according to an article from ABC7.

    โ€œI believe that they are about to take the breathing tube out and sheโ€™s just getting stronger focusing on just breathing under her own power,โ€ Crowl said.

    Crowl said that just as the Cal Lutheran community has come together in the past for students such as former Associated Students of California Lutheran University President Evan Carthen, the sense of support is also there for Hannah during this time.

    โ€œIโ€™m sure her phone has a million text messages in it from all of us and, you know everyone that she touched in her life,โ€ Crowl said. โ€œSheโ€™s so well liked and I mean rightfully so, sheโ€™s a great person, someone youโ€™d want to know.โ€

    According to the ABC7 article, Hannah was carried to safety by Austin Cox, a Marine. Crowl said that he and his friends were looking for a way to contact Cox to thank him for saving their friend.

    โ€œSheโ€™s getting better sheโ€™s recovering, sheโ€™s going to make it through this. Sheโ€™s a strong person, sheโ€™s an amazing person and we all canโ€™t wait to see her again,โ€ Crowl said.

    Bradshaw had knee surgery Oct. 2 and said his knee is in an external fixator to keep it straight until his next surgery the week of Oct. 16. Since he could not bend his leg, Bradshaw said Omni Limousine donated a ride for himself and Cindy back to their home in Simi Valley.

    Bradshaw said that the events of Oct. 1ย  are horrific and that it will take time to know if he is comfortable in large crowds again.

    โ€œI donโ€™t think this man should be able to take away the power of anyone. I think we need to move on with our lives. It may be a rough road but we really, as a society you know, donโ€™t let him win,โ€ Bradshaw said.ย 

    Nicki Schedler