First, here is 28 yr old
Kymberley Suchomel's Facebook post describing the indescribable horror
of the Las Vegas Massacre.
Take your time and read it slowly…and THINK...
I have been receiving phone calls, messages & texts galore since
Sunday night, and I have been providing the same copy & pasted
message to each of those who have contacted me. A really quick,
vague, account of what happened at the Route 91 Festival in Las
Vegas. It has been nearly 72 hours since the nightmare took place,
and I am finally able to sit here & put into words my own
personal account. I have attached some photos of the fun we did
I would first like to give a huge giant thank you to both Casie
Barnard & Ricky Ardito, without them I can guarantee you I
wouldn’t have gotten out like I did- I would have dropped to the
floor, stunned, and I would not have been able to get up. I owe them
both my life.
Sunday morning we woke up sore & hungover from the nights
before. Friday & Saturday nights were a blast- we drank too
much, and fought the crowd to get as close to the stage as possible.
We acted like we were in our early 20s and hitting Vegas for the
first time; however, when we woke up Sunday we all were in complete
agreeance that we would not be doing that again. We decided,
instead, to bring in a king sized sheet & sit on the astro-turf
in the way, way back & just peacefully watch the concert from
our spacious sheet. We also decided to drink the morning and
afternoon of, but not the evening, as Ricky, Cassie & Mendy had
an early day ahead of them, having to leave at 4am to get Ricky to
work Monday morning. When we had full bellies & got our retail
fix in-shopping the vendors, we headed to the main stage where we
immediately sought out that back sitting area. Unfortunately, we
procrastinated getting to our seats for too long, and every spot was
taken. We ultimately ended up on the next fake-grass area much
closer to the stage- but we still had a decent amount of space &
great viewing area, so we spread out our sheet and claimed it our
territory. We remember exactly where we were, because most of us
(excluding myself) left to go to the bathroom & get water during
the concert, so we used landmarks to be able to find each other
again. I remember distinctly that one of the bars was to my left and
I had to look behind me to see it- thinking maybe I should get one
more beer, but I already had a full bladder & I have an
irrational fear of porta-potties, so I decided against it.
We are all hanging out on this sheet, dancing our booties off,
enjoying ourselves so much that we took off our boots to get even
more comfortable. Casie & I were on opposite sides of our little
5-person group. I was on the far right side, and I had so much room
to dance that this guy who walked by, who we called “camo man”,
actually said to me “taking up a lot of real estate there, eh?”
jokingly. After about 20 minutes of Jason Aldean’s set, I got this
overwhelming feeling to go stand over by Casie. I can’t tell you
why, but I did. The entire time I was dancing next to her I kept
thinking to myself, “why? Why don’t I go back to my spacious area??
There is no room to dance over here.. I am not having a good time
over here… okay, on the next song I will”. But, there wasn’t a next
From about 50 feet in front of us, and a little to the right, fire
crackers were set off. Let me repeat that… FIRE CRACKERS WERE SET
OFF. I verbally stated “some asshole just shot of fire crackers in
close proximity to so many people”. I was literally pissed off. You
could see Jason Aldean look to his left kind of startled by it, but
he was also clearly irritated. I would say about 15 seconds later,
the first volley of gunfire was released. It was a shorter volley
than any of the others, and the gunfire was not as close together
either. EVERYONE looked up, down, around. We thought it was more
fire crackers at first, but then Ricky reached over, told us all to
put our boots on, quickly. And the volley ended. Then people started
to panic. The gentlemen behind me looked at me as I was putting on
my boots, half laying down, and said “calm down crazy, its just
fireworks, jeez”. That is when the 2nd volley went off, Ricky yelled
at us all to get down, flat, & we immediately knew there was
someone shooting at us.
I remember getting down, but I didn’t lay flat for some reason,
thinking- oh my gosh, I need to get flatter than I am now, but my
body just wouldn’t let me. That was the 2nd volley. At the end of
that volley ( I am still struggling to get my boots on), we turned
and tried to run, but the people behind us still weren’t moving. I
yelled at the lady “RUN! ITS GUNFIRE! RUUUUUUUUUNNNN!!!”
The look on her face was pure terror, but she finally dropped her
stuff and turned to begin running…. But then the 3rd volley hit… and
it was close. Very, very close to us. I could physically see the
impact of the bullets on the astro-turf, I could feel the warmth
& the passing of bullets. Once that 3rd volley was over, Casie
linked her arm into mine, and we decided at that moment we weren’t
stopping- we were getting the Hell out of there. And I do mean Hell.
We were in literal Hell. The gentlemen that mocked me stating it was
just fireworks fell to the ground, and he never got back up. The
lady behind me (who was now in front of me) who was terrified as I
told her to run, never got back up. I actually had to physically
step over her body to run (something I am still struggling with, so
please don’t attack me. I was absolutely in flight-or-fight mode).
There was another person to my right who also wasn’t moving. We ran.
I don’t know what direction we ran, I don’t know towards which
landmark we ran. We just ran. It was at this time our group got
split up. Casie & I were together. Ricky, Cassie & Mendy
We were rounding some sort of corner maybe- and I looked to the
right and I saw this large cowboy sitting down with his legs spread,
holding a blood-soaked woman. I thought to myself “we NEED to hide”,
but as I looked quickly for somewhere to go, the gunfire once again
got closer and closer. We couldn’t hide because they (and I do mean
THEY) were chasing us. That exact moment is when I started to really
panic. That is the exact moment in which I thought this was it, I
was going to die, I was never going to see my family again. So, as
we are running, we approach this fence where men are throwing women
over, and we ran up to it as they had knocked It down, so we were
able to get out. As we crossed the threshold of the venue, my mind
went straight to other mass shootings and hearing the victim’s
families in my head talk about how they never got to say goodbye. I
did not want this for my husband (who was at work) & my grandma
(who had my daughter, Scarlett). So, at 10:07pm I called my husband
franticly leaving him a voicemail- telling him that I loved him and
was in the middle of a shooting & I wasn’t sure if I would make
it out alive. Next, while still running, I called my grandma to tell
her the exact same thing.
But the gunfire wasn’t stopping this whole time. It wasn’t ceasing.
It wasn’t slowing down. And It was directly behind us, following us.
Bullets were coming from every direction. Behind us, in front of us,
to the side of us. But I know, I just know, that there was someone
chasing us. The entire time I felt this way. The farther we got from
the venue, the closer the gunfire got. I kept looking back expecting
to see the gunmen- and I say MEN because there was more than one
person. There was more than one gun firing. 100% more than one.
As we were running, we kept changing direction, because it felt like
no matter what direction we took, we were being followed. So we
ended up running in a weird triangular path. The first place I
remember getting to was a parking lot, and I told Casie (who was
slightly in front of me) we needed to get under one of the trucks.
She turned to me and started her way back to me, and that is when
the gunfire got even CLOSER than ever before. It was RIGHT THERE. It
was within the parking lot. Everyone around us was panicking once
again. So we ditched the idea of getting underneath a vehicle, and
we continued the run for our lives. If you know me, you know I am a
big girl, who is out of shape, and who definitely does not run for
any reason. But I can tell you I ran like I have never run before.
The 2nd place I remember going by was Hooters- which is where we met
back up with the rest of our small group. We ran towards the
entrance thinking we could take cover there, but as we got closer, a
stampede of people ran out, terrified. We could only conclude that
there was another gunman inside of that hotel. This made us even
more scared- we had nowhere to go- no one to trust. At some point,
we ended up at the airport & even entered the building for
safety. Everyone as we entered were screaming at the staff “IS IT
SAFE IN HERE?” but we weren’t getting anyone to answer us, so after
running about 30 feet into the building, not getting the answers we
so desperately needed, we decided it, too, wasn’t a safe spot, so we
got out of there quickly and continued running.
After all this running, we were tired, sore & having to stop to
cough, gag and even vomit. We ran across an intersection & us
& another group of people pleaded with a limo driver to let us
in and get us out of there. He was clearly confused & didn’t
understand what was going on, so he didn’t let us in. Next, we ran
to a taxi van & she was willing to let us in, but she told us
her van only held 4 people & she wasn’t going to let the 5 of us
in, so we said screw it and continued running. At one point, we ran
passed a small liquor store where they so graciously gave us water
bottles. We passed UNLV as well.
Some things I can’t remember exactly where we were or at what time
of the night they happened. But we were running along what I am
guessing was Tropicana Avenue, and this dark colored sedan drives
by, slows a little, and a smaller Hispanic, dark-haired woman leans
out the window, and she yells something we couldn’t understand in a
clearly taunting manner. It really freaked us out, because again, we
didn’t know who we could and could not trust.
I don’t remember at which time, but at some point, Ricky was
reminded by Cassie that his Uncle Manny lived in Vegas. He called
him, and we made a plan to meet him at a grocery store a couple
miles away to get picked up. We finally made it to him, he shoved us
all in his car, drove us to our hotel (we stayed off the strip),
waited for us to pack (this literally took us all of 10 minutes max
to do), and escorted us to the freeway to get us home. A HUGE thank
you to Uncle Manny for his love, generosity & kindness.
The what-ifs still kill me. What if we hadn’t decided to be chill
that night? What if we went to the same sardine-like spot we were in
the two previous nights? What if we had been drinking as much as we
had been Saturday night? Would we have had the reaction time to
escape? What if I hadn’t had the desire to move next to Casie? Would
we have been separated? There are still so many what-ifs from that
I have bene watching the news non-stop since I arrived back home to
my family. And it just doesn’t make sense. The story that are
feeding everyone doesn’t add up to our eyewitness accounts. There is
something wrong with what they are saying & the evidence seems
fake if you ask me. There are multiple people stating that there was
a lady towards the beginning of the evening who had made her way up
to the stage warning people that we were all gunna die- her and her
boyfriend were escorted off the premises. Why has she not been
mentioned by authorities? Every single survivor I have talked to
also remembers multiple shooters, and at least one from the ground-
why aren’t we being taken more seriously? Tons of things don’t add
I know I am forgetting a bunch of what happened, and I will edit
this post to include it as I remember.
I praise our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, for surviving a
horrific incident. People were dropping like flies all around me,
and there is absolutely ZERO reason why I wasn’t at least struck
with a bullet. I left the Route 91 Festival completely unharmed
physically, besides some scrapes and super sore bones & muscles.
Mentally, however, is a different story. I do okay during the day,
but as soon as nightfall hits, I get super scared & anxious. I
am even typing this up with butterflies in my stomach and a racing
heart. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to go anywhere, ever.
I can no longer be in any place with large crowds- concerts,
festivals, theme parks, zoos, etc. I can no longer trust anyone
around me. I can no longer close my eyes without seeing those bodies
& hearing the sound of gunfire. I am ruined, as are thousands
upon thousands of people.
We were given wristbands to wear for the 3-day event. I can’t seem
to take mine off.
We went to Las Vegas for a super fun, down to Earth country concert
featuring our favorite artists. We left scared, scarred, traumatized
and broken. And for that, we demand answers.
HERE IS HER FOLLOWUP POST ON FACEBOOK…
"It's been 5 days. And it's not getting any easier. Although I'm not sure
it can really be expected to get any easier.
Tonight is the first night since it happened that my husband has had
to go to work. He works nights & I started really freaking out
when I realized that soon I'd be alone at night. My grandmother, who
had a previously scheduled trip to Washington, graciously agreed to
cancel her trip so she could stay the weekend with me. It's like I'm
in elementary school again, and I need a babysitter. I hate this
feeling. I hate it so much. But I hate the idea of being alone even
more. "Alone". That single word makes my heart race. Makes my
stomach twist. How can a single word affect me so badly?
Dying the day, I can confidently say I'm alright. As alright as I can
be I guess. But as soon as nightfall hits, it's a completely different
story. When the sun is out, I can see my driveway, across the street,
in my backyard, everywhere. But once the sun is gone- I'm blind. I have
no idea who could be hiding in my bushes. I have no idea if someone is
crouching behind my car. I'm completely blind. The world outside is totally
unknown. Every single noise I hear makes me jump in fear that something
is about to happen. I constantly have this uneasy, butterfly feeling in
my stomach. Nightfall rears its ugly head, and I'm a mess. A broken mess.
As I finally turn the tv off and attempt to go to sleep, the noises I
hear get louder and seemingly more frequent. I'm finding myself breathing
heavy and looking around as if I'm going to need to take cover at a moment's
notice. As I lay there, I keep reliving the night over and over on repeat.
However, when I do get to sleep, I'm able to sleep for a Solid 4-5 hours
(usually) before I'm woken up by loud bangs and booms. I know these sounds
are in my mind, but I don't know if they will ever stop or if I'll ever
be able to wake to them and immediately not freak out.
I'm also able to eat once again. Well, kind of. My appetite is huge. I
make so much food when I eat. But, as the saying goes, my eyes are bigger
than my stomach. It's almost as if I'm trying to eat to erase the constant
whirlwind I feel in my stomach. No matter what I eat... veggies, meats,
junk food, etc... I get sick. Each and every time. My stomach is basically
attacking back when I put food into it. I get so mad when this happens,
but then I get angry at myself... I mean, at least I get to be sick. When
58 (and maybe even more) people will never even have the chance to be
The most ridiculous things terrify me. At 8:30pm every night, I have an
alarm that goes off to remind me to take my prescription for a pituitary
tumor I have. It's gone off every night since May. But for the last five
days, when it goes off, my heart races faster than ever before. I get
sweaty. I get scared. I know it's going to go off, but I still react this
way. When will it stop?! When my daughter moves too quickly, tosses one
of her toys, or talks too loudly after being quiet- I get the same fast
beating heart and fear. Just a few minutes ago, as I lay next to her watching
her cartoons, she rolls over to give me a hug. My instant reaction was
to get closer to the ground and I actually yelled at her for moving so
quickly. I yelled at my three year old daughter for hugging me. What kind
of mother am I to do such a mean thing to my daughter? I'm a broken mother.
When multiple people talk at the same time (ie: my daughter and my grandma),
I get super anxious. I feel as though I'm drowning in their voices, and
I wouldn't be able to hear if someone is coming. And I get mean about
it. Not intentionally, but I get mean.
Against everyone's advice, all I want to do is watch the news. I want
to see what they are reporting. If anyone else has passed. If people are
being reunited. I want to see if they are finally taking some steps in
a different direction than the supposed "one" shooter. But, on every news
station I watch, they are taking about the weather, car accidents, bills
going into the senate, etc. It makes me so angry. It's an irrational anger,
but I'm angry that they would have the audacity to report on anything
else besides the tragedy that happened on Oct 1st. Because gimme, absolutely
nothing is more important. Again, I know this is irrational, but it still
pisses me off to no end.
I tried to keep myself busy this morning. Started some laundry, did some
work. Then, I picked up the dress I wore Sunday night. I was about to
toss it in the washer, but had this overwhelming feeling not to. Instead,
I held it, inspecting it not sure of what I was going to find, or even
what I was looking for. Thankfully it's a black dress, so all I really
saw was a bunch of dirt. But in two spots towards the bottom, it's a little
"crusted". You know that feeling- when you spill a thicker liquid (like
ice cream) and don't wash it immediately? That's what it feels like. I
shutter to think of what it might be. That dress never went into the wash.
It's still sitting, now nicely folded, on my dryer. As if washing it would
wash out my connection to that night. In all actuality, that is what part
of me wants. Part of me wants the memories gone. The experiences gone.
But the other half knows that what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger
in one way or another. Maybe that's why I'm still finding myself wearing
my festival wristband and never wanting to take it off.
I don't cry as much anymore. However, some stories I read, videos I watch,
and anytime I hear Jason Aldean sing, I can't help but start crying. What
makes me really break down, is my daughter. If you read my previous post,
you know that I called both my husband (who I left a voicemail for) &
my grandma (who was babysitting my daughter) a few minutes after the gunfire
began. My grandma answered and my daughter was still awake. I'm not positive
on what was happening on that other end of the call, but when I got home
my baby was asleep. When she woke up, she immediately looked for me &
the words she said to me were "mommy! You run from the bad guys. You okay
now?" And if that doesn't just break your heart... it's not the only time
she's said it. She says it every day. Multiple times a day. And it crushes
me. After I picked her up from school today, and got her home, was the
worst. My three year old daughter, Scarlett, who was in my arms, looked
directly into my eyes and said... "I'm happy you're here mommy. Those
bad guys stopped chasing you." What do you even say to that? How do you
react? I hugged her tight, tears streaming down my face, and I told her
I was Safe and those bad guys are gone.
I don't really know why I'm writing this down, I literally never post
on Facebook. But for some strange reason, I have an overwhelming feeling
to do so. I just wish I was writing down my feelings of how much fun I
had, rather than the hole this experience has left in me & the fear
I'll no doubt live with for the rest of my life."
HERE IS THE LOCAL NEWS ARTICLE ON HER SUDDEN, SHOCKING DEATH...Which Occurred
The First Time She Was Left Alone At Home After Her Husband Had To Leave