On Oct. 1, approximately 22,000 people were at the annual Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, when a man began shooting at the crowd from the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing almost 60 people and wounding hundreds. As most people found out about the shooting by notifications on their phone or by word of mouth the next morning, one student from Las Vegas woke up to horrified texts and missed calls.
“When I woke up Monday morning, my phone was beeping constantly with missed calls and frantic texts,” said Jordan Moon, a junior studying communication. “I didn’t understand what was going on at first.”
Moon had a ticket for the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival and was planning on driving down to Las Vegas that weekend to attend. As a last minute change of plans, she decided to go to Wyoming instead.
“That was the first time in two years that I didn’t go to the concert,” Moon said. “People were texting me to see if I had been hurt or if I was with my friend Quinton, assuming that I was at the concert.”
When Moon learned of the full extent of the tragedy, including that her childhood best friend, Quinton, had died, she was horrified, outraged and a heaping mess of tears.
“I had at least 50 friends that were there and many of them were either shot or injured trying to escape over fences,” Moon said. “It is so shocking that something so horrific happened to the people I love.”
Moon traveled down to Las Vegas the weekend after the shooting. She went to visit her friends in the hospital and attend the funeral of her dear friend Quinton that Saturday.
Moon wasn’t the only one to wake up to a home hitting tragedy Monday morning with knowledge that friends were hurt. Another student woke up to the scary news of the event knowing that she had close friends in attendance as well.
“As I was getting ready in the morning, my roommate came in and told me about what had happened,” said Alesha Holt, a junior majoring in marriage and family studies. “I was in shock.”
Holt’s mother called her soon after and informed her some close family friends had been at the concert and a few were injured.
“My friend and her dad were at the concert that night, and when the shots rang out, they stayed and helped those injured instead of running away,” Holt said. “She was at school going through emergency medical training, so in the moment, she acted on her training and was able to save people’s lives.”
There were many trained emergency professionals off duty at the concert. It was an incredible miracle to have immediate help during the event.
“Although my friend and her dad were not hurt physically, they are both still extremely shaken up,” Holt said. “Even if there is no physical damage, the emotional trauma is still there and must be terrible.”
So many people died, were injured or experienced extreme emotional trauma on that horrific night.
Many students attending BYU-I from Las Vegas have personal connections to victims of that terrible night like Moon and Holt.
Whether personally affected or not, BYU-I students are united in praying for the loved ones of those who lost their lives in the shooting. Fifty-eight people lost their lives in the shooting and they will never be forgotten.