Charlevoix Couple Survives Vegas Shooting: ‘Massive, Utter Chaos’
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Among the thousands of people in the crowd in Las Vegas when the bullets started flying were several people from Northern Michigan.
A Charlevoix couple found themselves in the Route 91 Harvest Festival audience near the stage as the night turned into panic.
Northern Michigan’s News Leader’s Cody Boyer gives us Mark Greyerbehl’s firsthand account of being one of many running for cover.
“Massive, utter chaos,” Greyerbehl says.
Over FaceTime, Mark Greyerbehl of Charlevoix showed me the Mandalay Bay Hotel from across the road, with its windows still shattered.
He, his wife and their friends were in the audience.
“Jason Aldean came on the stage. He was doing his normal show,” Greyerbehl says. “That’s when I heard the pop-pop-pop-pop-pop so I just thought somebody just threw firecrackers over there.”
It didn’t stop.
“I get to the top of the stairs and the bartender says to me get down, get down,” Greyerbehl says. “Now you can imagine people were running or not running. Do you run? Do you not run? Where do you run to?”
His wife, Vicky, wasn’t with him.
“She was down at the fence row about 125 feet from the stage,” Greyerbehl says. “The bullets would have had to go right over the top of her head.”
While the gunfire continued, Mark got up from his cover and made a decision.
“At that point, I said I have to back, I have to go out and get Vicky, so I started running back towards there,” Greyerbehl says. “I had my bright Michigan shirt on and Vicky had come up the stairs, jumped down on the ground, saw me and yelled for me immediately, ‘Mark, Mark, I’m over here, I’m over here!’”
The couple shielded each other as they ran.
He remembers bullets flying overhead and people falling.
“We wanted to get out of there as quickly as we could and so Vicky and I continued to move along the bleachers and we made a left hand turn at that point in time and followed that up, underneath and to the parking garages,” Greyerbehl says. “There were people that were inside the bleachers that had crawled up inside the bleachers, just to stay as protected as they could.”
All the while, he saw people helping people.
Law enforcement and security guards were helping get people to safety, or get them on their feet.
“They cared. And that was one thing, too,” Greyerbehl says. “They were helping people over fences. Some folks were being picked up and put over fences because they felt that was the fastest way out. You saw a lot of kind humanity working together there.”
Hours later, Mark and Vicky joined hundreds of others to donate blood, a sign of humanity after darkness.
“We’re country people who have been coming out here for three years now and we just know that that crowd is a great crowd,” Greyerbehl says. “They would help each other out whenever they could. I know they would have been there for me. I need to be there for them.”