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San Diego couple survives Vegas shooting, lands safely at Lindbergh Field

Posted at 11:38 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 02:39:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Nick and Rebecca Kanoyer, flew home to San Diego hours after escaping the deadliest mass shooting in United States History. 

The couple was enjoying the Route 91 Harvest Festival with fellow San Diegans Aaron Leek and his fiancée Alicia Jenkin when the shooting happened. They were still wearing their purple wristbands from the event when they spoke with 10News. 
  
“(We're) just kind of in shock right now,” Rebecca Kanoyer said. 

Her husband echoed the sentiment, saying it hasn't really set in just yet. 
  
This was the Kanoyer’s third year attending the music festival. Jason Aldean, the final performer of the night, was on stage when the bullets rained down on the audience around 10 p.m. Sunday night. 

RELATED: 59 killed, 527 hurt in Las Vegas Strip massacre
 
“We were right at the front by the stage," Nick said. "It was actually the right-hand side of the stage which was closer to the Mandalay Bay itself."

At first, Nick didn't realize that he was hearing shots fired. He thought they were fireworks. 

“It didn’t sound real until we actually saw a girl next to us get shot, and that’s when everybody realized what was really going on, and that’s when everybody dropped to the ground,” Nick said. 

They got out of the venue without any injuries. 
 
“Shots went. Stopped. I grabbed my wife, started running," Nick said. "Shots started going again. We dropped to the ground again. He stopped. I imagine (the shooter) was reloading."
 
The gunman was shooting automatic rounds from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. The couple didn’t know that at the time. 

RELATED: Who is Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas concert shooting suspect? 

“We were running away from the stage because it didn’t sound like it was coming from the building. It sounded like it was coming from behind the stage. So nobody really knew what was going on, so we ran away from the stage and out the back,” Nick said. “We all kind of got ushered into the Tropicana and they had SWAT there searching everybody, and we kind of stayed there, just waiting, and we stayed until four in the morning."

At 8 a.m. they were allowed back into their rooms at the Mandalay Bay.

The couple says the whole experience is completely surreal. 

“You know, you just keep seeing the death toll go up. You kept seeing the amount of people hurt go up, and you see the pictures of people laying on the ground and it was just very surreal," Rebecca Kanoyer said.  “Unfortunately, things like this happen in the world. But you never think you’re going to be there when something happens, and to be a part of what’s now known as the worst massacre ever, it’s just crazy."

“I pray for the families that lost loved ones. We were lucky enough to get out with our loved ones,” Nick said.
 

A GoFundMe page started for the victims and their families has raised more than $2 million dollars in 17 hours.