Marshfield Residents in Las Vegas Witness Acts of Kindness After Sunday Night’s Tragic Shooting
After a gunman opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip upon a crowd attending a Jason Aldean concert at the Route 91 Harvest festival below, firing hundreds of bullets into the crowd, killing more than 50 people and injuring hundreds more, those in attendance leapt into action to help their neighbors.
Former Marshfield residents Danielle Gottlieb and her husband, Eric, were in attendance at the concert last night, and witnessed the tragedy firsthand. The couple flew in on Thursday specifically for the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
“I honest-to-God thought it was someone shooting off fireworks,” said Gottlieb. “My husband next to me said, ‘That sounds like a bullet.’ He’s a hunter, so I think he recognized that. We could even see Jason [Aldean] almost look like he was pausing and looking around towards the hotel that it came from. Then all of a sudden he was rushed off stage. My husband said he saw security running up towards the stage. Then it was pretty much mass chaos. Then everyone knew what was going on. Everyone was just ducking and running, and falling down every time the barrage of bullets were going.”
Danielle and Eric carried one injured woman out of a hotel shelter to be taken to an ambulance. She had been shot in the neck.
Down the Strip, Marshfield residents Andrew and Emily Dillenburg were also in Las Vegas that night, locked down for several hours in a casino before being allowed to return to their hotel.
“We were out walking the strip and wandering into different Casinos when we headed into the Bellagio, which is about 1.7 miles north of where the shooting occurred,” said Emily. “I was actually in the restroom when I heard people screaming and running. My friend, Leah, ran into the bathroom calling my name and telling me what was going on. People were just running into stalls wherever they could. We didn’t really know any details, but the building had been placed under lockdown, so everyone was getting away from the front doors.”
Amidst what is now being called the deadliest mass shooting in US history, according to CNN, attendees and passersby were working together to help those in need of medical assistance.
“The first responders, police, everybody was amazing. It was amazing how coordinated everyone was,” said Gottlieb. “They were telling us how everyone should be leaving to get out of the festival area. Even just the seeing people helping other people was comforting. If somebody would fall down, we would help them up.”
It was these acts of kindness that are comforting those who witnessed the shooting and its aftermath.
“It was really nice to see that kind of humanity,” she said. “It’s tragic. It shouldn’t have happened. But, it’s really nice to see in the news stories about people giving blood, people catering to those in the line. It’s comforting to see people just wanting to help.”
The Dillenburg’s also were thankful for the small acts of kindness they witnessed amidst the worry and confusion.
“The halls were lined with people standing, sitting, and laying, many of whom were trying to get in contact with loved ones,” added Emily. “Finally, after close to five hours of being on lockdown inside the Bellagio, we were told that we could exit out one specific door if we wanted to. We gathered our belongings and walked out to request an Uber. While we were waiting, a young man just driving by stopped and asked if we needed help. He gave us a ride back to our hotel, no payment required.”
“The young guy who picked us up was an uber driver, but was more concerned with getting us out safely than booking a ride,” said Andrew. “He was willing to get people out safely, and go back to help more and more people.”
“We ask for prayers for the families of the victims of this terrible event, as the casualty count continues to climb,” added Emily. “We are thanking God to have each other and our lives today.”
First responders in the Marshfield area expressed words of comfort and thanks to those in Las Vegas.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Las Vegas and all of those affected by this horrible, senseless tragedy. We are extremely saddened by the events that have unfolded,” said Marshfield Fire & Rescue Chief Scott Owen. “Not only are we thinking of those that were injured and killed last night but also all of the first responders that needed to respond and handle the situation.”
He added that law enforcement, fire/EMS, and many others play a pivotal role in any incident like the Las Vegas tragedy.
“We see people at their worst and work through the problems at hand. After the incident is resolved we continue to replay the events in our minds and hearts for a very long time. Sometimes the pain of the event never goes away,” said Owen. “When you hug your loved ones, both friends and family, please do not forget about the first responders. We need your words of encouragement and your compassion as much as the victims and victim families do. Again, our sincere, heartfelt condolences to all of those involved in this incident.”
“I think that’s all we can do is remind people of humanity, kindness, and compassion in the wake of something so horrific,” said Emily.
Owen also encouraged everyone to do what they can to help those in need, such as donating blood, supplies, or volunteering time to worthwhile causes right here in the community.
To donate blood, contact Wisconsin Blood Center Donor Services at 877 BE A HERO (1-877-232-4376).