B.C. couple ‘shaken but unharmed’ following Vegas mass shooting

More than 50 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history

A Nelson couple is shaken but unharmed in Las Vegas following the largest mass shooting in American history. A 64-year-old American man opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds more.

“I’m still very shaky. I think the whole time we didn’t really believe it was happening,” Karen Belland told the Star Monday morning, from her Las Vegas hotel room.

“We are so lucky to be alive. There were bullets flying right by us. And there’s that feeling that if we’d been a bit further to the left in the crowd, if we had run earlier, then maybe we wouldn’t have made it. Right now we’re feeling incredibly thankful.”

Belland was on vacation at a country music festival with her husband John and some Canadian friends from high school, and had spent the weekend attending a number of concerts. Then on Sunday evening, as headliner Jason Aldean was just beginning his set, she heard a popping noise in the distance.

“We were fairly close to the stage, and happened to be on the right hand side — which I think was a blessing, because we were sheltered from some of the gunfire. Some of our friends got up and ran but my husband and I, our two friends, we stayed on the ground.”

Eventually they jumped over a barricade and crawled under some bleachers, running past people laying on the ground as rapid-fire gunshots echoed through the night overhead.

“There were these short bursts, and then as soon as they stopped people would get up and run. There were a bunch of people, maybe 20 of us, and we were trying to hide because we thought the gunman was above us, but we really couldn’t tell where the gunshots were coming from.”

Then a security guard ordered them to follow him, and led them to safety. The Bellands beelined it to their hotel room, taking the back way to avoid the large crowds, and ended up hosting two other couples in their hotel room who had been stranded.

The gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock. He was discovered dead in his room with multiple guns.

Obviously, Belland is still processing what she just experienced.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I think we’re going to need to send more love. More hate isn’t going to cure this. We need to send love and love people more, that’s all I can say. If you give more love than you even need to, maybe that will make a difference and bring our world a little closer.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 1: Surrey’s two largest hotels close, BC Hydro offers bill credit

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

Surrey’s two largest hotels are now closed due to COVID-19; room bookings plummet elsewhere

Guildford’s 77-room Four Points property remains open with ‘minimum amount of business,’ GM says

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Update: Coquihalla re-opens, after incident requiring a medevac

DriveBC warns of continued delays and congestion

Most Read

l -->