‘There were just bodies laid out’ – Orange County Register

Lauren Lamandia fell to the ground, grasping at the arms and legs of strangers as gunfire rained down on the festival grounds outside a Las Vegas hotel-casino Sunday night.

“We were holding each other,” recalled Lamandia, 30, of Pomona after escaping the deadliest mass shooting modern U.S. history. “A lot of people were running and screaming and people were crying.”

Lamandia, her boyfriend and a few friends were among the 22,000 watching Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, killing at least 59 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Pomona resident Lauren Lamandia (right) pictured with her boyfriend Philip Edwards (back right) and friends James and Patti Dobson at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. The four were at the concert when a gunman opened fire on the crowd. They all escaped. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Lamandia)
Lauren Lamandia and her boyfriend Philip Edwards, both of Pomona, were watching Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman began firing on the crowd Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. The couple and their friends escaped the mass shooting. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Lamandia)

The Pomona woman said she and others around her thought the “pop, pop, pop” of the gunfire was fireworks at first.

“It felt like it took a while for us to realize what it was,” Lamandia said.

Then a man next to her dropped to the ground, falling on the mother of two. Lamandia believes he was hit by a bullet. She helped him to the ground then shielded his head with her body as people started running.

All around her, concert-goers were coming to the aid of the wounded. Two women in their early 20s carried the “lifeless” body of their friend by the ankles and wrists. Nearby, a man was giving CPR to another man.

“I ran over to help him, but I was having a hard time getting to him because I was jumping…

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