SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hope and prayer came a year after terror and bloodshed as the nation stropped to remember the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history on Monday night.
The October 1, 2017, massacre during the Route 91 Harvest Festival claimed 58 lives when a gunman opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
On this one-year anniversary, thousands of people gathered in Las Vegas to remember the lives lost, including many survivors from the Sacramento region. Many who survived, say it’s been a tough year dealing with a range of emotions, and PTSD
“The gunfire stopped for a moment, he looked at me and grabbed my hand, and he said do you do trust me? He said we need to get up and we need to run,” said Lisa Schau of Sacramento.
That was from an interview one year ago, just three days after Lisa and her husband Chip survived the bullets raining down on them. On Monday, the couple sat arm to arm back in a Las Vegas hotel room.
“It doesn’t feel like a year for us because it’s been on our mind every day,” said Chip Schau.
“It’s emotional. This time last year we were getting ready going to the final night of the festival. So yes, it’s emotional, it’s hard,” said Lisa. “Being here with other survivors has been amazing.”
The couple joined hundreds of survivors and took part in a number of somber anniversary ceremonies. They walked through the Las Vegas healing garden that honored the 58 lives lost.
“Each tree is dedicated to one of the 58, and their names were on them, with little trinkets with things people have left,” she said.
“I feel positive, sadness, you name it, it’s coming out right now,” said Chip.
“We haven’t been back since we were here last year, it’s incredibly difficult,” said Leticia Bernal.
Sacramento State graduates Emily Albusche and Leticia Bernal are also in Vegas looking for closure and healing.
“We have unfinished feelings left here, it’s been a tough year,” said Albusche.
“It’s extremely healing. Its just coming full circle, and not allowing this place to have a hold over me,” said Bernal.
They lit candles, prayed and hugged total strangers.
And as survivors try to heal, they’re grateful to have each other and an extended family of survivors.
“A lot of good has come from this, a lot of people have united, it’s amazing,” said Lisa.
Meanwhile, there were other survivors who chose not to go back to Las Vegas, including Alex Alvarez of Sacramento.
“Today is about remembering people who didn’t make it, but also it was incredible to see so many people who hopped into action like instantly,” said Alvarez.
He was one of the hundreds of people who stayed back to help the wounded shortly after the shots rang out. Alvarez says it’s been an emotional journey but the heroic acts of ordinary people stepping up that night is what has struck him the most.
“They could have ran to save themselves, but they didn’t. I can’t imagine how many lives they saved,” said Alvarez.