SCOTT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- One woman from northeastern Pennsylvania was in Las Vegas one year ago, during the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s modern history.
Lynsey Lastauskas was in a nearby hotel when the gunman was firing off rounds into the country music crowd. She said it was the scariest night of her life.
Lastauskas owns a photography business in Scott Township just outside Clarks Summit called Lynsey Noel Photography. It was her passion for pictures that brought her and a group of friends to Las Vegas for an expo. She was in town the same night last year when a gunman opened fire on the crowd of concertgoers.
“My girlfriends wanted to go to the concert, but I however did not. So we were just getting ready to do a little girls night out, and I got a text message that said, ‘There's a shooter. Stay in your room,’” Lastauskas said.
That text message came from a friend in Las Vegas before there were even news reports about the shooting.
Lastauskas said minutes later, her hotel was on lockdown. It was two buildings away from Mandalay Bay, where the shooter was targeting people from his room.
“We were watching helicopters circle, circle, circle. There were endless amount of military men. I couldn't even count,” Lastauskas said.
When Lastauskas and her friends were finally allowed out of their hotel room 20 hours later, she said there’s only one word to describe what the city was like.
“Terrifying. To see that many men in uniform and not in uniform together looking for someone and searching the streets and making sure everything is OK,” Lastauskas said.
She never got to go to the expo she came to Las Vegas for, but she walked away a changed woman.
“Life could never be the same. You look at things with a different perspective because it could've been you. It could've been a friend,” Lastauskas said.
One year later, Lastauskas said she still thinks of the shooting almost every day.