SACRAMENTO — Along with the 58 dead, there are also around 20,000 survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Many of them have also struggled with issues of trauma over the past year. One of them, a Roseville woman, has been working hard to help as many of her fellow survivors as she can.
“I will never be the same person ever again,” said Lisa Fine.
Speaking to FOX40 from Los Angeles, Fine shared a cell phone video she shot across from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas exactly one year ago.
“The sounds of the bullets raining down and those bullets being 6 inches from my head,” Fine recalled. “I remember hearing the whizzing sounds and my hair raising up.”
It’s a night she admits still haunts her even a full year later.
“I’ve been in my car driving where a Jason Aldean song will come on that was on that night and I will just go into a panic attack,” Fine said.
But Fine says the last thing she wants is to let what happened to her immobilize her.
“I don’t want to have that dark, evil night define my life. I want to rise up above that,” she told FOX40.
She has stepped up to assist others experiencing the same trauma.
“You go through a survivors guilt as well, because you felt like you were helpless. You could not help people and it’s heartbreaking,” Fine said.
Fine started Route 91 Strong, a nonprofit that helps other survivors get their lives back on track.
“We have so many people that are on suicide watch and some that have attempted suicide,” Fine said.
So far, her organization has raised over $600,000 and helped around 100 other survivors. But she wants to help even more.
“We pay their bills, their utility bills. We keep food on their tables for their families. We keep them in their homes,” Fine said.
Fine was in Los Angeles Monday night because Route 91 Strong was hosting an anniversary fundraiser. She told FOX40 all the proceeds will go to help the survivors from Las Vegas, as well as other mass shootings.
‘It Made Me Very Grateful’
As she cooked dinner for her family in her West Sacramento home Monday night, Davina Garcia was in a much different place than she was one year ago — both physically and emotionally.
“Thinking about it and watching the videos again, it does bring back that memory of that feeling of just being afraid,” Garcia said.
One year ago, Garcia was across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort when a gunman opened fire on a concert crowd.
In the mass panic that followed Garcia says a complete stranger shielded her from the gunfire raining down. She says she can still hear the bullets as they ricocheted off the ground.
“That probably will stay with me forever, that sound,” Garcia said.
Just hours after the shooting, FOX40 spoke with Garcia as she sorted out the events that played out in front of her and thought about her three kids.
The tragedy left its mark. Garcia says she has not been to any events with big crowds since and is in no hurry to go.
She often finds herself thinking about the families of the 58 people killed in the mass shooting that she survived.
“It makes you think, like, it could’ve been you there,” she said. “The things that happened to these families, it could’ve been your family.”
Through the grief, and a year of reflection, came a new perspective for Garcia.
“I appreciate my life and appreciate the things around me and what I have,” Garcia said. “That event, it made me very grateful and appreciative of my own life.”