My short bio: I wrote down my experience Tuesday morning to capture the details while they were still vivid and fresh.

https://imgur.com/gallery/KKfSp

A lot of friends and strangers, both those whom were there and those who weren't said that it helped them in different ways.

We're all going to deal with this in our own ways. So far, I've felt that it's tough to talk about or write down, but afterwards I feel slightly less terrible.

Sitting in my Woodland Hills apartment while my girlfriend Jamie is sleeping. Not doing much to spend my time right now, so I figured I'd try and have a discussion.

Hoping this may help with the mental health process, as well as potentially help others.

My Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/KKfSp & here are more photos before things went down. https://imgur.com/gallery/1sBPs

Comments: 103 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

SeveralChunks23 karma

What were your thoughts while it was happening? I've heard soldiers say that they don't think about risks in the heat of the moment, but they realize how terrifying a moment was after the adrenaline goes away. Is that true? That in the moment your instincts are about survival over fear?

IW_SavageRoadhouse33 karma

That is a completely apt description, when the bullets start flying the adrenaline kicks in and even though in a deep level you know you're in danger it's not something you have time to process. Once the adrenaline started to subside a few hours later, only then were we able to being to acknowledge just what happened.

Keep in mind, we had zero idea if there was a single shooter or multiple. The echo, reverb, bounce of the bullets made it extremely hard to echo-locate. I wrote a lot of this down in the first IMGUR link https://imgur.com/gallery/KKfSp but I get it if no one reads it, it's a long read.

If you watch a lot of different videos from concert goers though, you'll realize that they stayed put for 5-10 mins into the shooting inside the venue. Staying put and debating 'is that even gun fire?'. From >300 yards away, for those who haven't found themselves in that situation or at least watched body cam footage from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or other. It wouldn't necessarily being recognizable.

During the 3rd volley is when we hit the ground, where I jumped on top of the girls. There were only 2 moments in the event where I thought about dying. This was the first, and I thought to myself "Well if I'm going to die, this isn't the worst way to do it...attempting to shield friends". Later in the night we got trapped in a small hotel room and there was a surge in panic that a shooter was entering the lobby. Once trapped there, the second thought was "This is going to be a shit way to die, I don't want to die like this. Sitting ducks, fish in a barrel"

JacquiePoho4 karma

I want to thank you for sharing your story. I signed up for reddit today, (I am an occasional lurker) only to respond to your story.

You are an incredible writer and I urge you to consider doing more of it; whatever the genre. I travelled with you on the horrific journey which you describe so poignantly. I travelled every step of way; on the edge of my seat, tears in my eyes, cheering and rallying for you, imagining how you were feeling, and what you must have been thinking. There are few author's I've read that have transported me the way your words did. My heart aches for you, for Jamie, those with you that night, and for all who are impacted by this senseless tragedy.

While I realize your trauma may never fully heal, you are well on your way, and I applaud your openness and willingness to share your emotions. The authenticity and genuineness are incredibly palpable and shine through in your writing. I couldn't help but feel connected to you, even though we are worlds apart. I laughed when you talked about boot whiskey, I caught my breath each time you hit a road block, and each time you had to assess the safety of a location - no-one should have to do that. I was incredibly touched when you suggested someone send you a bill for the lights you had to smash. You are a good and noble person. You have reminded me that life can change in an instant, and I am so sorry you had to endure the torture of that night.

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I am headed out to share Thanksgiving dinner with family, and I feel incredibly fortunate. Tonight, I will raise a glass to you, to yours, and to all those impacted. I wish you peace of mind in the days and weeks to come. I hope you consider writing more, whether on this topic or another. You have a gift.

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

Thank you very much, your kind words have been a nice reprieve this morning. Jamie went to work for the first time today and I've been in our tiny apartment with our 2 dogs, been a bit tougher than I expected.

I've never done much writing, when I sat down and wrote the original story words just flew out of pure emotion and adrenaline. Didn't take time to think about the message or what was being put down. Not sure if I'll ever be able to go back into that kind of writing zone in my life. My Dad is an author though on mediation and company to company circumstances, so there's a link there with some deeper writing knowledge.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this weekend. It's cliche to say and the impact has never hit me like this week, but enjoy the ones you love and hold them tight. My family is back up north and will be doing the same for Thanksgiving this weekend.

When the time is right though, I may sit down and write again. After lots of talks with friends who were there we've been able to fill in more pieces of the puzzle. Lots of different stories, or alternate perspectives on the same event.

Jamie, Nicole, Kelsey and I went into my work briefly and sat down in our livestreaming video room. A couple coworkers were very kind to help us sit down and just talk about the situation and record it. Might hold on to that video for posterity sake or might share it with our family if they're ready. We'll see.

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving. Slice of a piece of turkey and pumpkin pie for me please!

JacquiePoho2 karma

I only just read, lower down in this thread, that you are Canadian - is that correct? BC, right? Where?

I bet today is hard, being alone, without Jamie. I wonder how she is doing at work. It seems really early to return to work, but maybe that is what is needed. Some sense of normalcy? What kind of dogs do you have? I'm home alone with my two dogs today too, but I'm not sitting with the experience you currently sit with. My husband went on the last fly fishing trip of the season this morning. I chose to stay home, he went with a few friends. We are avid fly fishers, southern Alberta, close to the BC border. Such beautiful country.

I appreciate that you might not be able to go back to that writing zone. I can't imagine you'd ever want to, but I'll say it again, it was incredibly moving to read. Interesting that your Dad is an author.

I'm glad you recorded a debrief of sorts and I hope it contributed to the healing.

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

Couple pics of our dirty dogs after camping and off roading. https://imgur.com/a/5Lipt

Born and raised in Calgary, moved down to LA at 19 w/ a garbage bag of clothes, Hockey gear and an Xbox to attend college for the video game industry.

All my family is in Canada, Mom/Gram in Calgary, Sister who is due with her first child in Toronto. My Dad, aunts uncles, sister and niece/nephew are all around BC. My home base is Rosen Lake which is midway between Cranbrook and Fernie. Next to a tiny little town called Jaffray, BC.

My Dad, also an avid outdoorsman was backpacking all weekend out by Elk Lake Lodge. When we got to the stairwell to a semblence of safety is when we reached out to our family. Didn't want our parents and loved ones to see the news and then not immediately know we were safe. Couldn't really use the phone to talk because we were trying to keep as quiet as possible. So my Dad, comes down the mountain Monday since it began snowing up top and gets in his truck. Satellite radio plays the news about the shooting and he's now in pure fear and panic mode. No cell phone reception out there, the valley roads are so deep, it was clouded cover. He had 90 mins of driving down back roads before he got any cell reception. The second he did though the texts came flooding in, including mine.

He's had a hard time as well going through a similar wide range of emotions that all of us are.

I'm going to attempt to hit the gym now, not sure if iron therapy will help or if the clanging and crowds will make me 'nope' out of there immediately.

Here's our pups Chief & Dixie, Samoyeds who have been extra cuddly since we've got back. https://imgur.com/a/5Lipt

Looking forward to being back out at the cabin for Xmas, do some snowshowing, snowboarding, camp fires, skating on the lake, tobogganing and being with family. Hugs will be tighter, discussion will be longer, love will be greater.

IW_SavageRoadhouse11 karma

A friend messaged me last night, I felt it pertinent info to help put another puzzle pieces together. He's not ready yet to talk about it or write it down.

He was a bud that was the last to be confirmed alive, we were receiving phone calls and texts from his close friends and family until the early hours of the morning. We just had no way to confirm.

Anyways, without further ado.

https://imgur.com/Ej5AgSY

JustNotGrunge9 karma

How are you feeling emotionally right now? And, are you and your girlfriend going to seek therapy? Even if you didn't get shot, there are real traumas from living through this. All politics aside, I'm just here to say I'm so sorry you had to go through this. My best friend's father and step family were at the concert in the crowd when the shooting started as well. They all made it out alive, but he has been refusing to answer her calls and has been very vague talking to her through texting. He said he was in the hospital but wouldn't elaborate, and she thinks he maybe got shot. You're a hero for getting on top of your loved ones and protecting them, and I'm so glad that you and your girlfriend both still have each other. Every named victim I see, my heart breaks all over again. With every picture, and every article about their lives, I just wish I could change what happened. I know this was very traumatic for you, and I sincerely hope that you and your girlfriend can recover emotionally and that you will be able to live your lives again. Also, you both might still be in shock, and it's okay to really let yourself feel your emotions, and please don't have survivors guilt because you are not the person who did this.

IW_SavageRoadhouse17 karma

Thank you for your kind words.

We will be seeking therapy, luckily my job has pretty quality insurance coverage that we're both under. Going to make some calls tomorrow to track down someone semi-local that has experience with these types of heavy trauma incidents.

For us, we're experiencing every emotion on the spectrum, there and back again. It's part of the process and we tell each other, what you're feeling is fine. What you're feeling is natural. Take a moment to acknowledge how you feel.

A lot of my friends who made it out are dealing with things in their own way. Some are shut down, others are talking openly. There's no correct timeline for this I don't think. Just as long as we deal and heal in a time that works for each of us individually.

We all had different, unique experiences to say the least. We all saw very different things too.

Our hearts ache, for those who were hit, those who were lost and their loved ones. Jamie and I have been together for 5.5 years and are extremely close.

Oddly enough, just a week prior we were doing our usual frugal date night where we pour some stiff drinks, head to our apartment hot tub and just talk. We had a deep conversation and I told her unprompted that if anything were to ever happen to me, if I were to die. That I would want her to grieve, I would want her to be with her family. Then in time, once she has healed I want her to find another to hold her and love her and be her best friend. This conversation flashed in my head a few times during the chaos of the initial 15 mins.

On the therapy front though, this...writing it all down helps a bit.

JustNotGrunge5 karma

I'm very glad you're going to get therapy, and you're absolutely right about feeling your emotions. What you're saying, a therapist would tell you as well so keep it up. And I can't imagine trying to save my fiance and just hoping that I wouldn't have to live without him and vice versa. I understand why that scene from the hot tub would be playing in your head, it must have all been so terrifying. Jamie is lucky to have you, so I'm glad she won't have to ever try to find someone else someday. It really sounds like you're her knight in shining armor. And keep writing for sure, if that's what helps, even a little, you need to do it for yourself. Also, you said "A lot of my friends who made it out are dealing with things in their own way." Did any of your friends pass away during this?

IW_SavageRoadhouse8 karma

Luckily my friends all came away unscathed. Though some friends of friends weren't so lucky and were mowed down.

We all ended up in different locations too, different trauma, saw different things. One friend got locked inside a maintenance room in the basement of Mandalay bay until around 10am the next morning. For them it was similar to my hotel experience where the info they had, told them that the gunmen was mobile and just outside the door. They barricaded the door and waited with metal pipes for hours, hearing screams, hearing banging around and just waiting.

Jamie is the world to me, I would be in the darkest depths of depression if anything happened to her.

FedsDedderals7 karma

What has surprised you most about news coverage of this tragedy? What do you think they are missing/under-reporting, or conversely, what do they seem to be placing an unjustifiably high emphasis on?

IW_SavageRoadhouse11 karma

ehhh, I've been asked by a few friends similar questions. Leading into false flag territory, which correct me if I'm wrong is the idea that everything we're told by the media isn't the full picture.

Fact is we aren't told everything because the investigation is ongoing. The police/FBI won't reveal camera footage or certain details in order to not dilute their own investigation. We're on reddit, a lot of people here have done their internet sleuthing after similar atrocities and how often do they actually help and not end up with innocent people completely fucked in different capacities.

Anyways, back to the main question.

I can't wait to find out more, I read all the articles, I read all the reports, I talk to my friends who were there with me. I want more information. I think the media is reporting the information they have and any reputable media should report w/ sources.

I've seen the youtube videos, the conspiracy theories, the alternate timelines and alternate ideas of what happened. So far I haven't seen a single one that I agree with. I'll wait until I have solid video/audio or official evidence that anything else occurred that we don't know.

Even Jamies Mom came over with comfort food every night since we got home. She leans pretty far right and is more likely to watch the Alex Jones or other kind of 'far out there' media types. I understand the process, people who are looking for clues and answers are doing the same thing I am. Problem is, they're falling for the Texas Bullseye theory dilemma. A guy shoots up the side of the barn, then walks over and paints a bullseye around a tight grouping of bullets. It's drawing conclusions from incomplete data or false data.

I'll be candid and say that yes, 100% during the event I thought there were multiple shooters. Now that we have more information, I understand it wasn't the case (until proven otherwise). There's no benefit of holding back that kind of information from the public.

Then again, shit if I know. We'll just wait and see, I want everyone involved to get some sort of closure to find out why this happened.

It's a pivotal moment in life, a moment that comes around so rarely. We can point to this point in time and see everything before Route 91 massacre and then everything afterwards is post-event.

eastriverdriveII6 karma

what is your stance on gun control?

IW_SavageRoadhouse20 karma

It's the topic du jour during and after these events isn't it. in the last 2 pages of my account that I wrote down https://imgur.com/gallery/KKfSp you'll find that I did get my hands on a small 9mm pistol.

Here's the thing though, rightwing, leftwing. I think everyone should think for themselves and use their best judgement. I don't believe in following a party and agreeing with everything they stand for. I lean left, my mom is a lesbian, I'm from Canada and I work in the video game industry. However, there are lots of things on the right side of the spectrum that I agree with as well.

To get to your question though, I think there is ton of misinformation on both sides of the gun control debate. The silencer debate is silly in my somewhat un-educated mind. To my knowledge they're more for the hearing quality of the shooter, but the gun fire is still loud as fuck. Furthermore it doesn't benefit the range, accuracy or heat of the barrel so it's an argument on both sides that is full of half truths, somewhat flawed logic and this is a very divided nation.

I hope for gun control that can regulate the industry tighter. I think there are a lot of gun control laws that are completely laughable that anyone can bypass. A lot of half measures and nonsense.

At the same time, I've taken a few pistol and rifle classes. I'm not a marksman, I barely would say that I'm trained. I also enjoy the rare ocassion going out to the desert here in California and firing off some rifles at tamarack or shotgunning skeet.

So..that was a long winded response to your question that I kind of skirted around. It's a tough issue. I know for comparable 1st world nations, the number of people murdered by guns is much higher in the states than elsewhere. I don't have the answers, I can't point out whats right or wrong. And I'll be honest, I'm not someone that people should look to for guidance because I'm not a professional nor have I done extensive scientific reading on the subject. I would love to read hard peer reviewed scientific papers that can point us all in the right direction.

I'll leave the talking heads on TV and youtube to do their thing, but on all sides they're mostly full of shit and pandering to their position/base.

DaytonTheSmark2 karma

Hello from Canada! I'm glad you are okay mate.

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

Cheers, if I wasn't with my Jamie i would be back in BC. Out in the mountains, on the lake and surrounded by family. It sounds great but my partner is here and I need her too.

Cheers canuck

eastriverdriveII2 karma

thanks! Glad you made it out of there.

IW_SavageRoadhouse6 karma

Me too, lots of minor injuries but we came out unscathed. Now it's on to the mental aspect which I'm told is a long process. But talking about it and writing it down helps even though my adrenaline and heart rate are through the roof right now as I put the words down.

Grazzah2 karma

You are so brave

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

I appreciate the sentiment but I'm not all that brave. Many heroes went back to help out. I held to my friends and stayed put. I knew I couldn't leave them but also have survivors guilt at times. Which I understand is normal, shitty part of healing.

Thanks though.

MadeItLocally6 karma

First and foremost, thank you for your selfless act to shield your friends. Thank you for coming on here to help answer some questions. Both of these, and I imagine everything between the two events, are such brave acts. Your actions speak volumes to your character. Also, super glad you and yours are ok. Also hoping you have the resources to get psychological support to deal with the ptsd of such an event. It will be work taking to a therapist about your experience. That's a whole different subject though.

There has been a lot of information being put out surrounding these events. Information that lands on a spectrum, sometimes not being accurate. There are some reports of multiple shooters. I see you mention in this post how you could discern that different gums were used during the different vollies. Did it, at any point, sound like more than one gun at a time was firing?

Edit: just saw your reply down below saying you believed there to be multiple shooters as it was happening. That's what I wanted to know. But I'm gonna leave this post here anyway

IW_SavageRoadhouse6 karma

Thanks for posting, if you want additional more detailed info check out the imgur album.

To be honest though, I'm not a hero. I'm just some guy who was at a concert with friends who managed to get out. There are going to be thousands of stories of real heroes who went back and helped more people. The first responders were on top of their game too.

I'm just a guy that had just finished the last boot whiskey of the night before the gunfire started.

IW_SavageRoadhouse6 karma

Got some nice hate mail this morning, even though this guy appears to be a consistent reddit troll. His words had me bust out laughing, harder than I have in the past week.

No need to message him back, I assume he's a little mentally...damaged and in need of some love.

https://imgur.com/U49WJBk

big_orange_ball5 karma

Thanks for sharing your story. On a lighter note, who were you there to see and how were the performances? I'm not into country (other than country roots rock kinda stuff, not straight country) but I'd be interested to hear what the show was like.

IW_SavageRoadhouse5 karma

Honestly, pop radio country isn't my cup o' tea. At these festivals, they sometimes do a good shot of spreading the sub genres. I used to dig Eric Church years back but wasn't into his new stuff. I think around the time he found love, his music resonating with me more back when he was talking about the wilder side of things. I still dig his stuff though and he would probably be the person I was most stoked to see.

Saturdays lineup...when I saw it announced I told Jamie. "Saturday is all about you, we will go and see whomever you want and do whatever you want before we even go to the venue. So we hit the pool with our friends to kick off the day drinking and shake our hangovers. Then we went and saw a ton of country that... well... it's just not my favorite, I'll leave it at that to be polite.

I've been listening to a lot of Waylon Jennings today while I do this AMA, some Willie too. A lot of love songs have deeper meanings, and I tear up consistently if a song even comes close to resonating with our situation.

For the modern stuff, I dig Grangers alter ego Earl Dibbles jr., love me some Wheeler Walker Jr (even if it is a stage persona for laughs), Cadillac Three, Jackson Taylor & the Sinners. Man, if you want some great covers and un-tapped raw outlaw country music give Jackson Taylor & the Sinners a shot on youtube. I saw them live in Vegas at the Beauty Bar for my 30th a few years back and ended up connecting with them personally and partying the night away at Hogs n' Heifers.

So back to your question, the show was more radio friendly, pop country specific. The music brings us all together though, and it's one of the few times a year I'm with my extended country family group. So even on days like Saturday where I don't like the artists, it's still a great time and I have enough boot whisky to entertain myself during any lulls. :)

big_orange_ball1 karma

Awesome, I'm glad you were able to enjoy the show up until the tragic incident despite the fact that all the music wasn't your thing really.

Thanks for the recommendations, I will check out some of this stuff. Honestly I tried listening to Aldean when I heard of the shooting but I can't get into that pop country stuff.

Also, glad you and your friends made it out alive. Thanks again for being part of the reddit community and for being willing to share your story.

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

I imagine to be honest after this AMA I'll slink back into lurker status. Often I'll start writing a response to threads that I have pertinent information about, then I'll get 80% of the way through and just say 'fuck it, no one cares and no one needs to know how I feel'.

Couple other less than radio friendly artists who may be of interest who are still modern-ish.

Aaron Watson

Frank Foster

Whitey Morgan

Sturgill Simpson

Luke Combs

JB & the Moonshine band

Whiskey Myers

Blackjack Billy

big_orange_ball0 karma

less than radio friendly

That's exactly what I'm looking for to be honest haha. I recently have been getting into Sturgill and I'm very impressed by him, I'll check out some of these other artists too, always looking to find new shit out there.

So you you like in NV/LV? Always seemed like a bizarre place to me. I'm totally shitty at playing cards so never gamble and never saw the draw but I know there's a lot to that town other than just the casinos.

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

I don't even gamble when I'm in Vegas more than the penny slots to grab a drink and burn some time with my girlfriend while we wait for someone or something.

Vegas is bizarre, it's like Hollywood blvd or Venice Beach. Glamorized by movies and TV but when you're actually in the middle of it, it's kind of covered in dried up piss, puke and garbage. The magic is what's inside the unique shops, bars, experience centers.

LA is bizarre, I moved here in 2004 w/ a garbage bag of clothes, an Xbox and my Hockey gear. It's home but not quite home. Home is really back out in the mountains, away from civilization at the family cabin where the nearest decent grocery store is 30 mins down country roads.

However on the flip side, no matter what you're into in cities like Las Vegas and LA. There is something for you. So that option and freedom is a big draw.

kvnhmmd5 karma

What advice would you give to anyone attending a public event like this in the future?

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

Typical stuff that we've all read before. Plan your exits, make a meeting point, go with friends, make sure someone knows where you are if you leave the group. So in that regard, nothing mind blowingly earth shattering for advice.

Even if I had taken every precaution I just listed though, that all flies right out the window once an event like this starts. We made our own exit, we had no meeting place, we immediately lost 80% of our group including my friends sister.

It's a fight or flight instinct that will kick in. I wrote in my long lengthy imgur post that in that venue I felt 10 foot tall and bullet proof. When I hit the ground on those girls, I was just a meatbag waiting to get hit.

Many won't attend events like this I know. Others will do our best to live the best version of our lives that we can and that will probably include big outings like this.

I guess if I can stop rambling, I'd say that if you can assess the situation make concious decisions for yourself. Don't always follow the herd, which may be easier said than done. My biggest fear while we were zig zagging out of the venue was that we were being pushed in a direction that would lead us to a new killbox. A new area where additional shooters would be waiting for us and mow us down like cattle.

So that thought, of being ushered into a new killbox lead us on a very zig zagging route. The primary goal was to get out, stay low, ensure we had all 4 with us and get away from the crowd as fast as possible. W/ ~22k people though, it's not exactly an easy task and you have almost zero data to asses if you're making the right decision. I made some shit decisions that night, but I am 100% thankful to my girls for allowing me to take charge and work together as a single unit, the 4 of us.

I've watched videos where people are squabbling with one another, do we get up, do we stay, where is the shooter, is it even a shooter situation, are people overreacting, etc. etc.

If you're with people, someone has to make a call. The most level headed calm person should be making the call.

I owe those girls my life to be honest.

kvnhmmd3 karma

In one of the videos posted to YouTube, I noticed one man yelling "It's just fireworks! Stop! It's just fireworks!" I sure know now to never listen to anyone who thinks they know what they're talking about. I'm sure that man has a guilty conscience right now.

IW_SavageRoadhouse6 karma

Yea I saw that one too, I've seen a few videos like that. People not taking cover, not understanding the incredible danger they were in even though there were bodies on the ground nearby. Maybe it was shock, it's also hard to go from enjoying a concert to completely committing your mind to the fact that you're being shot at and have a highest chance in your life thus far of dying.

There are many videos of people who stayed for many many many volleys of gunfire. In their POV, if you got up and ran you died. We all had no idea if the gunmen was on the 32nd floor or if he was on ground level and waiting for people to pop their heads up.

Pure, raw, unfiltered chaos, panic, fear and terror.

ilrasso4 karma

How did you rate your chance of survival at the most critical point?

IW_SavageRoadhouse10 karma

First two volleys, I didn't even realize we were at risk. Beginning of the third volley though, yea I was pretty sure I was about to take a bullet to my back while I was on top of my friends.

Jamie, my girlfriend says she remembers me forcing her head down to the ground and laying on top of her and our friends. She said she was thankful but was absolutely terrified and wished I didn't do it. We're deeply, madly in love and have been together for 5.5 years.

So while on the ground with my friends, if I had to estimate I'd put myself at about a 5% survival rate. that's in hindsight though, I was still trying to come to grips with the situation.

Panic and terror came in ebbs and flows though, at times I felt a tad safe. Other times survival estimates in hind sight dropped very very low.

I heard from another friend who we got split up from immediately. He read my account on IMGUR and it turns out we took nearly the exact same path but he was a minute behind us. He got to the barbed wire fence and concrete wall, he jumped the same fence to get to the parking lot. Apparently moments after we cleared the parking lot a volley of shots hit all around. He showed up moments after that volley and saw people on the ground with impacts. Lots of trucks with bullet holes.

I don't believe in luck, nor god. It was all random and there were no right or wrong decisions to be made because the firing was completely random large sweeps.

kvnhmmd4 karma

Did you see anyone that was injured from the gunfire?

IW_SavageRoadhouse7 karma

Yes.

Funny side note. Saturday night we found ourselves up close to the stage with a portion of a group. We had a great time but anyone who's been up close in a big concert like that knows it kind of sucks depending on different variables. People budging past you, people spilling on you, basic bitches hopping on a guys shoulder right in front of you, etc.

So Sunday night we had left the main stage and headed north to the secondary stage to catch Luke combs. We left his concert and grabbed some chicken fingers and an insanely oversized dome of crispy fries of some sort. We decided that we would hang back and not push to the front. Instead we'd go about 1/2 way into the crowd but in an area we could breath and not get mushed.

We met up with another friend who walked with us back into the crowd but we didn't tell her our plan to hang back. So Instead we're all walking hand in hand on the far left of the stage where there was a nice barricade that allowed some somewhat easy in/out access to get to the front left corner of the venue near the stage. By being there, we initially we with our entire group who we hadn't managed to do all weekend. We also were in an area of higher survivability in hindsight too. Where we had planned to be, well...not so much. Small butterfly effects like that will be a thing to delve into as the details come to us.

Anyways, yes, we saw injuries and death. Some of our friends experienced things on a much more intimate setting with strangers.

kvnhmmd6 karma

I really appreciate the incredible amount of time you've devoted to this AMA, including the pictures. Very thorough. Enjoy your gold.

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

Thank you very much, I appreciate the sentiment. This is hands down the most I've interacted on reddit even though I've been lurking for years (old accounts).

It really helps to sit down and relive certain details and hold them with me for posterity sake.

RoosterSamurai4 karma

Before any of the events of that night happened, what was your evening's worst case scenario? I mean like, dropping your phone or losing your keys or whatever.

IW_SavageRoadhouse4 karma

Not being able to sneak in all the Whiskey that was packed in my tight briefs and was chaffing the shit out of my balls. The girls each had a couple 3 oz. flasks in their boots. To be candid, I'm frugal. Not living off coupons that require 100 tricks and transactions to get groceries. But we aren't blingy people. My truck's side view mirror is held together by duct tape for the past 2 months after I went off roading and it popped off, held together by wires. We both drive mid 2000 era vehicles. We spend most nights in, and rarely go out on the town. So to get to my point...I'll blow a grand for an entire weekend in vegas for everything included, but hell if I'm about to attempt to get day drunk off $10-15 whisky in the venue.

So yea, that was my biggest concern walking into the venue.

Inside the venue, biggest concern was just tracking our immediate close friends down. At times, Jamie and I would split for random bathroom breaks, grab a water and a cup of ice and a coke to put our liquor in. My concern there would be that whomever had left wouldn't be able to physically get back to the group due to the crowds.

The night would have been infinitely more terrifying if we were separated when the massacre began. Absolutely heart wrenching. Random chance, is all it is.

RoosterSamurai3 karma

It sounds like you guys were having a pretty good time up to that point. I'm glad you and your friends are safe and I hope you take care of yourselves and take care of each other.

IW_SavageRoadhouse1 karma

Thanks, we working on it. Outpouring of support that we all are receiving has been tremendous and brought us all closer. I believe we're going to attempt to get back together sometime soon, to talk and mourn and hug one another. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

coryrenton4 karma

What did you notice firsthand that is being consistently misreported?

IW_SavageRoadhouse5 karma

Nothing immediately comes to mind just right now to be honest. Though keep in mind, I ditched cable TV years ago so I'm not exactly glued to the network news. My news is from articles, social media and reddit.

Now that I think about it, the false flag theories, the conspiracies of more than one gunmen. Those being reported on youtube where any one can have a voice, those are being misreported. I understand it, for them it's trying to put pieces of the puzzle together while also getting a few cheap bucks from the content. But at least until this point in time every video that says multiple shooters or other theories I've been able to look at an debunk personally. If there is anything more credible that is surfacing at this time though I would absolutely like to see it, so share links please.

Kd21354 karma

Did you realize where the bullets were coming for or were u just tryna find the nearest exit and run with the crowd?

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

First volley of gunfire. So far any videos I've scene nothing captures the very first volley, every video I've scene starts with the second. First volley, no idea they're even bullets.

Second volley, thought it was the speaker system popping and breaking, still no idea bullets were about to rain down on us. No one moved, no one ran, no one got down. It takes awhile to flip the switch and get in the mindset that 'yes, we're being shot at'.

Time passes after second volley, band has zipped off stage and house lights are on. Something isn't right, wait...was that gun shots?

Third volley starts with a deeper and larger audible noise, second the first bullets fired on that third volley is when we knew we were under fire and we had to get down.

During the third volley is when we got into our doggy pile on the ground. It was long, sustained fire and I yelled to the girls that when this round was over, we're getting up and going.

From that point on, it was trying to find the nearest exit while leaving the mass crowd. So in that sense, we made a lot of our own exits. We broke barriers, walls, decorations and made a hole. I got into much deeper detail in the imgur post if you would like to know more.

5be4three3 karma

Did it sounds like shots were being fired from multiple directions?

Videos I have seen show flashes from multiple windows.

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

100% I thought shots were coming from all directions. Sound, echo, the random pattern shot, all contributed to having a very hard time figuring out where they were originating from. I'll tell you what though, if you hear the air snap and crack around you, those are bullets nearby.

To add to just how unreliable eye witness accounts are, I'll add in my own. The very first volley of bullets, I thought came from the Northeast. However, Jamie my girlfriend who was right beside me thought they came from the west. Sound bounces, it's tough to track. Some people were able to figure out where the bullets were coming from fairly quickly. Us? Not at all, we hit the ground on the 3rd volley and after it ended we were making new exits to get out.

There were no other shooters shooting out of the Mandalay Bay though (at least from a suite that wasn't his on the 32nd). Particularly in those videos where lights are strobing and flashing. It's pretty easy to find photos of Mandalay and you can confirm there are no other broken windows that were shot out of. My friends even have photos from the next morning to back this up.

kvnhmmd2 karma

Another thing to point out... if the ammo he was using is rated for over 1,125 feet per second (FPS) then those bullets are travelling faster than the speed of sound. If that's the case then when you hear the gun fire, the bullet has already reached it's destination. Those "snaps/cracks" you hear in the air are 'likely' little sonic booms.

Here's a great 5 minute animated video on YouTube that can explain a sonic boom to a 5-year-old: The sonic boom problem - Katerina Kaouri

Another video showing and explaining supersonic "cracks" from bullets Supersonic Bullets & Crack!?

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

Thank you very much for the links and info. If you have additional relevant videos like this, please send them my way.

Attempting to put any data and knowledge of this event together has helped Jamie and I work through this.

Much appreciated.

tinskullremedy3 karma

Did you see the cabbies video?

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

The one who was at the Mandalay Bay during the initial handful of volleys? If so, then yes I've watched that one a few times and my girlfriend Jamies Mom came over a night or two ago and started discussing the alternative theories to the official report.

So, if that's the video in question (feel free to link it for others to view) I'm open to discuss it. What's your follow up questions?

tinskullremedy1 karma

Yeah that was the one. I was just curious how you felt about nobody doing anything. Not even reacting. Do you think we are desensitized?

IW_SavageRoadhouse7 karma

Ehh sure I mean that's a part of things for people. However, let's be honest. The audio in that video is 100% different than the audio we heard >300 yards away. That video was raw, close up and what you would expect from a movie or video game. It was deep, had bass, had impact and was a force. For us at the venue, depending on the gun he was using and caliber of bullets it was a very different experience.

To add to that, the echo, the reverb, the initial firing noise, the echo noise and the impact noise not to mention the air actually cracking around our heads...it was all different.

I absolutely understand people not reacting. It's Vegas, shit is going off and nothing is ever normal there. To adjust your thinking and make the acknowledgement that 'yes, we are under fire. Those running for the hills and those on the ground are not overreacting' was a tough decision to make to be blunt.

I watched multiple videos where people are on the west side of the venue and debating if it's gun shots or not. Grown men who may have fired guns were claiming it was firework or something else. It's shock, it's panic, it's raw.

I don't blame them, because in this situation everything was completely random. Did we know he was on the 32nd floor or ground level, no one knew. People made their best judgement calls. If you get up and run you die, if you sit you die, if you get to cover you die. We all saw different things and none of them were wrong. Many of those stances were correct. People got up and moved and got a bullet, people hit cover and they got a bullet. It wasn't luck, or god or angels, it was a random wide sweeping bullets coming from a modified weapon for near or total automatic fire.

But again, now we have the benefit of hind sight and videos to know, "Holy shit you dipshits, you should have run. What the fuck are you doing standing there, I'm watching empty 12oz plastic cups bounce of the ground from gun fire. Move fuckers move!"

The taxi video, later on she picks up passengers and they are already in the wide gamut of emotions. Panic, fear, terror, anger "Are you fucking recording this right now?"

That's when the video gets to the emotional level.

My friends saw a lot of people get hit by vehicles fleeing the scene. If you were that driver, or someone in the venue who got behind the wheel your first instinct may be to just drive. Meanwhile people are pure panic and running for their lives.

Fuck, another ramble. Hope that answers your question. Thanks for stopping by.

finishthebookgeorge3 karma

I read your story. You kept your head and did well. Well done.

If you had the benefit of hindsight, what would you have done differently once the shooting started?

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

I've mentioned earlier, that when the third volley began and it hit home that we were under gun fire my fov narrowed. I only saw Jamie and our two close friends, then we got down on the ground for the duration of that third volley.

In hindsight, I wish I would have been able to keep more of our friends together. I wish Nicole would have been able to stay with us because we had her sister Pally. They're amazing sisters and that trauma of not knowing if your sister was left behind or dead is going to haunt them for a long time. We had a big group, I wish we would have managed to stick as a team.

However, since everything was so random. Maybe if we stopped to find others, if we went back to try and track our friends down. If, if, if...it could have ended with a bullet in one of us. So the big takeaway I feel due to the purely random firing nature, was that there really was no wrong or right decisions. I'll do my best not to dwell on my decisions because in the end every single one of us got out alive.

davideg573 karma

I haven't seen any video taken from one person that was recording the concert or something like that, was the sound of the shots loud? I mean, you instantly heard the sound of guns or you noticed after other people had done? And how much time passes between the moment when you first hear the sound and the one in which you realize that you are in the situation you really are? I imagine that this is a bit strange and that would take a moment more than in a normal situation

( sorry for not perfect english)

IW_SavageRoadhouse8 karma

Check on www.liveleak.com and search 'vegas' or even youtube with simple search terms. Las vegas shooting, las vegas massacre, route 91, etc. There are tons of videos of people who were recording the concert right when the shooting began. Many people continued to record for the duration.

Funny thing is I'm a grouch when it comes to people holding their phones above their head right in front of me at a concert. Like 'c'mon buddy, you're blocking my view. your footage sucks, no one cares'. But now, I'm pretty appreciative that I can see different angles and try to put small pieces of the puzzle together.

First gun shots: We were stage left by the large video screen maybe 20 feet from the stage. ~30 rounds go off and it sounds like it's behind us to the Northeast. Sounds like firecrackers, that's all that made sense at the time.

Second volley of gunfire, different gun. The band is still playing but the gunfire is consistent and I thought the PA system/audio devices were malfunctioning. The right video screen gets hit and glitches out which makes me even more sure there are errors going on back stage. During the second volley the band zips off stage.

I remember thinking 'Damn, for a guy who's a tad hefty like Aldean, that guy can zip pretty fast'.

house lights get turned on. Something isn't right, shit this isn't right at all. Is the stage going to catch fire, are there bigger issues backstage? We were all clueless during the second volley. No one on the ground, no one running, we were taking it all in and trying to figure it out.

The girls grabbed tight and asked questions I didn't have answers to.

Pause.

Pause.

Pause.

Third gunfire, sounded deeper like an LMG. I can hear the air snap and crack around us as well as the initial gunfire and pings when it hits metal structures. The second the third volley started is when it set in that yes we were being shot at. We got down on the ground and held tight for the longest volley of gunfire yet.

I told the girls 'the second this wave is over, we're getting up and out'. I'm extremely thankful no one second guessed it, they complied immediately and we started our long and terrifying exit.

TheBigShrimp3 karma

Did you even (and if so, when) realize that the shots weren't coming from ground level or even close to you?

IW_SavageRoadhouse5 karma

Not at a single time was I able to properly echo-locate the location of the shooter. Not in the first volley, nor the second or third or dozens of other volleys that came forth. We had zero idea if it was inside the venue or outside, if they were mobile or static. Due to how sound bounces around, and his wide sweeping shots that hit all over the venue it was incredibly hard to pinpoint a thing. Then again, the guy who stood up during the volley with a beer in his hand appears to have figured out where the shooter was immediately and flips him off. So maybe, that dude was just better at it than me. Then again, I hit the deck during the third long volley and got up and ran with my girls while the shooter reloaded or switched weapons.

Even when we got a mile away into a hotel (I wrote this all down with maps, images, https://imgur.com/gallery/KKfSp ) we thought a gunmen was busting into the lobby while we were in there due to mass hysteria, crowd panic and fear.

Hope that answers your question.

coryrenton2 karma

Were you advised to do any specific activities or exercises to ward off PTSD (such as playing tetris soon after the event)?

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

I was actually told to do exactly that, play Tetris! My initial post over in /r/lasvegas had that suggestion. https://www.reddit.com/r/LasVegas/comments/741uab/our_experience_at_route_91_escaping_the_massacre/

So far, Jamies Mom has come over every night with comfort food and we've watched movies. Jamie and I have played some Overcooked on PS4 together as well. Similar in a puzzle sense to Tetris that your mind is centered on the game and nothing else.

I played Hockey last night in my beer league, it was tough to make that decision but in the same vein. It's something that makes me happy and I was able to mostly take my mind off of everything for an hour and 15.

coryrenton1 karma

do you think the gaming helps? are you in contact with other people at the event who are doing similar steps?

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

Yea gaming helps, it's akin to comfort dogs. It's a nice distraction that helps your mind work out different puzzles and tasks. We'll be having a typical Dan & Jamie date night tonight where we cook, we have a drink, maybe the hot tub and then play some 2 player games like Overcooked or Rocket League or maybe we'll take turns playing Mario vs Rabbids. Bought that for the long drive out there and back and haven't cracked it open yet.

During our exit, after we holed up in a nearby hotel we tracked down a friend with a car who took us to his apartment. He had two 7 month old puppies who were goddamn adorable. Talk about comfort dogs, it helped Jamie and Pally settle down for sure.

My friends, we're all walking separate paths at the moment. We're all going through the emotions all over the spectrum. Some are staying on single emotions longer than others and that's totally fine.

[deleted]2 karma

[deleted]

IW_SavageRoadhouse5 karma

That's a big 10-4 there buddy. :)

RustyKumquats2 karma

For levity's sake, I thought I'd impart a fact regarding this statement:

In the past (and perhaps the present), truck drivers used the call sign "good buddy" when they wanted to have some good ol' gay truck stop sex. I was informed by my grandfather to never say those words in/around a truck stop or CB radio.

EDIT: I sincerely hope you and your girlfriend, as well as the hundreds directly affected by this, get through this alright.

IW_SavageRoadhouse3 karma

That is hilarious and I had zero idea. Well then...might be time to find some different quick terms.

xFaro2 karma

One of my college professors told me a story once about a time when he was crossing the street with his girlfriend and a driver on his phone hit them in the crosswalk. She broke her pelvis, and I'm not sure exactly what happened to him.. something with his back.

He said "kids, if you ever go through an experience like that with a significant other, you just break up with them. It's the shitty sad truth."

It sounded odd to me at the time, but I'm glad you can confirm it's not true.

(Your experience was obviously far more severe than this but I'm sure you get the point)

IW_SavageRoadhouse4 karma

Damn, that is some intense advice from the ole' Prof.

Things would be incredibly more difficult if only one of us went through it and the other wasn't entirely able to comfort or understand everything that is happening.

For Jamie and I, we're closer than ever. Been together 5.5 years, and both of us have an urge to just go get hitched at the Santa Barbara courthouse. Why wait, we're best friends and are ready.

Then, I pump the brakes and realize that Jamie deserves to have a happy wedding not overshadowed by this massacre. Gameplan was always to get her through College this December before making the next step.

JWAxeMan2 karma

Hey, I'll write this as a question so it won't get filtered out, but have you tried yoga or eastern meditation? I've been through some PTSD from very different circumstances and I've found that yoga and eastern meditation (very real, deep, authentic eastern practice, not some youtube video telling me to close my eyes and imagine I'm walking in the park) helped tremendously.

IW_SavageRoadhouse5 karma

Absolutely, there are a few things that I really enjoy in life that clear the mind. Yoga is one of them, I go through ebbs and waves where I'll do yoga a couple times a week for months and then go months without going. Usually depending on how late I stay at work and how intense my lunch time workout was.

I'm feeling weak as fuck right now, weekend in vegas not eating right and drinking too much. I can't wait to get back to the gym though, I was working my way up to a huge Deadlift PR the week before I went to Vegas.

Anyways, I think yoga is a great suggestion and if I continue the better vibes I'm feeling each day then next week I will be back in the gym cranking on the weights and doing some yoga later in the day.

Great suggestion, I appreciate it.

DaytonTheSmark1 karma

Will you be hesitant to return to Vegas now?

IW_SavageRoadhouse2 karma

Hesitant, sure that's natural. We don't intend on living fearful lives but we also havnt dealt with our mental well being yet. Ask me again in a week and I may have a different answer.

Our intent is to heal, then carry on and live better lives.

Hope we hit our goals.

SeaOfDeadFaces1 karma

Do you believe there were more than one gunman?

IW_SavageRoadhouse4 karma

I feel like the words used to describe things have lost a lot of weight to what they really imply to the person experiencing them. Chaos, panic, terror, fear.

During the raw unfiltered chaos, panic, terror and fear. Yes, I thought there was more than 1 gunmen. The weapons being switched between volleys of bullets, I could hear the difference. There are a lot of structures around us though that bounce noise. The first volley felt like it came from behind us to the east, the second to the west and the third to elsewhere.

We had no knowledge, no ability to take a minute to stop and figure out more data. For some, if you got up and ran you died. For others if you stayed put you died, it was random chaos in every direction. We had zero inclination that he was firing from above.

I'll say this though, until there is certifiable proof that there were other shooter(s) then I won't believe it. I can debunk most of the trash I've seen on social media without too much work. I'm confident the authorities have all the strip cameras and are going through everywhere that gunmen were reported. I don't believe in some conspiracy that the authorities or media is witholding anything.

I understand why people are coming up with theories and doing their own sleuthing. It's part of a process to make sense of an event that at this time really doesn't make sense at all. I would just like if while people do their sleuthing, they aren't drawing conclusions from incomplete data. Keep in mind, eye witness reports are the least reliable.

So...that was long... to put it simply. No, at this time I do not believe there was more than a single gunmen.

9volts1 karma

Forgive me for asking, but since you look at footage of real people in life- threatening situations as research to make characters in video games more realistic, how do you feel about this part of your job after experiencing it yourself?

IW_SavageRoadhouse6 karma

Totally fine to ask this question, I haven't had a lot of time to sit and think about this but it has crossed my mind as something to assess when I'm ready to do so.

Watching footage of these types of situations isn't a necessity for me, but it helps bring out raw details that can be captured. End of the day, I make vehicles and only vehicles in the game I work on.

How do I feel about working on a game that contains war zones? I'll let you know when I get back to work. So far I haven't gone back in. PTSD is real, I don't know what it will be like until I sit down and pick up the controller and do a playtest with my coworkers. I imagine, I'll either be un-phased or I'll open up my mini beer fridge by my desk and crack a cold one while I shake.

Memestarz-5 karma

How did you "survive" something that didn't happen? Typical crisis actor.

IW_SavageRoadhouse1 karma

Is...that the best you have?

BanTrumpSuppporters-9 karma

Don't you think it's ironic that people who fight against gun control-- the vast majority of country music fans-- got slaughtered by military assault weapons that shouldn't be legal?

IW_SavageRoadhouse11 karma

I understand the position and how some may find it ironic, I get it I really do. I won't be one to say it though. Country music fans, are easy to put into a box of white republican, gun toting, budweiser drinking hillbillies. And to a point...that's very true.

But it's the music that brings us all together, I lean left on the spectrum. I don't agree with everything a single party puts out, we should make up our own mind. But to my point, the music is a community. I was dancing arm and arm with my friend who was wearing a trump top and MAGA hat. I have my own very different political views but it isn't important, we were there together to share an experience.

People can politicize it all they want and point out ironies. I get it, it's part of a large discussion. I don't particularly want to get into that just yet, and when I do it will be a personal conversation with close friends and family. :)