A Connecticut native in Las Vegas witnessed the chaos inside the airport following the largest mass shooting in American modern history.
Katrina Landry, of Griswold, was inside McCarran Airport when terror was unleashed less than a mile away on the Las Vegas strip.
“So, there were people on the runway, shutting the whole place down,” Landry said after landing at Bradley International Airport on Monday. “The concert area is really close to the airport and when the shooting started, everybody flew and they hit the security wall fence and took it down.”
Her flight back home was delayed by about two hours because of that. All departing flights were grounded while some arriving were diverted.
During those two hours, she was safe but was worried about her friends and co-workers on the strip.
“They were like we're in the back, we're hunkered down and we're scared out of our minds, but everyone's okay,” Landry said.
Knowing that everyone she knew in Las Vegas was safe, her mind then turned to family back home.
“I called my mom at 2 in the morning and she hasn't known yet and I let her know first, I did the Facebook feed and did the check-in,” Landry said.
Escaping the horror and now watching from back home, Katrina Landry considers herself lucky.
“The fact that I really should have been there, is hitting me a certain way. It's really upsetting and frustrating,” Landry said.
Thousands attended the weekend-long country music festival across from Mandalay Bay, and some of them were from the New England area.
James Magagnoli and his wife went to Las Vegas for the festival, and on the final night, before the closing act, they decided to leave.
Just 45 minutes later, gunfire rang out. The Magagnolis watched the massive response from their hotel room, while just feeling gratitude because they knew how close they came to being a victim.
“We have a 4 and 6-year-old. So I can't even explain the feeling. My wife is visibly upset, just being that close to where we were, we literally were right within 100 feet of the stage, for the two days before and the majority of this day. It's crazy. My texts were going nonstop, it was an insane experience, just an insane experience,” Magagnoli said.
The South Hadley, Mass. couple still don't know why, but they left their spots near the stage 45 minutes before the gunfire erupted.
"It was really weird she decided to go. All of a sudden she said, can we get out of here? We have to get up early, we had to get up at 4 a.m.," Magagnoli said.
They both arrived safely in Connecticut, but had a lot of time to think on the five-hour flight back.
"She looked at me probably 30 times, over the past five or six hours and just broke down. The stewardess had a beautiful speech, a couple had their 20th anniversary on the flight, and she broke down during the speech saying that's wonderful that they were able to make it 20 years, but look at all these families who lost their loved ones," Magagnoli said.
Gratitude was the main takeaway when speaking with passengers on Monday.
Some who were leaving for Las Vegas said this trip has a damper on it, but it won't affect them from living their lives.
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