Arizona couple at Las Vegas concert shooting recalls the humanity of strangers

Rusty Dees and Caren Mansholt recounted their experience at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas where a lone shooter opened fire.

PHOENIX - Even in the darkest of times, there is light and stories continue to emerge of heroes helping each other during the Las Vegas shooting.

“We saw one person be the worst, but we saw 22,000 be the best,” said Rusty Dees, who was at the concert with Caren Mansholt.

Out of the horror that rained down on the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas are the selfless stories of strangers helping strangers.

“We saw people helping people they didn’t know, whether it was a gunshot wound or they tripped and fell or they were taking them to safety,” said Dees.

Rusty and Karen saw this firsthand. They were near the stage when the bullets came flying into the field after Jason Aldean took the stage.

“After being there for three days, you kind of get to know the people around you,” said Mansholt. “We got to know those right around us and as soon as we all went down, we were concerned about one another as well as ourselves.”

There was hope and comfort among fear and terror.

“When the bullets stop, you kind of lean up to see what was happening and see if it was a good chance to maybe get out,” said Mansholt. “The second time I went down, you know the woman next to me. We were on the floor together and she just put her arm around me and tried to protect me. I don’t even know her name but I was grateful.”

Although these strangers will probably never cross paths again, they helped each other through a harrowing time.

Rusty and Karen said the shooting will not discourage them from attending any future events.

“I don’t do most of the social media stuff but I posted on Instagram,” said Dees. “You can’t let crazy people or terrorists or anybody else win. And they win if you stop doing the fun things that we all love to do.”

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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