A Survivor Speaks: Las Vegas Mass Shooting Anniversary

Action News Now reporter Stephanie Lin spoke with one local survivor of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 6:15 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 11:51 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - On Oct. 1, 2017, Oroville locals Jim Strickland and Rich Padilla were on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 country music festival when shots were fired.

The carnage left 58 people dead, and hundreds more, wounded. 

"You're never going to get over it," Strickland said. "But you try to live through it. You try to move on." 

Strickland has met many survivors since then but he still hopes to hear from a young woman he saw gunned down right next to him.

"She let out a scream that was just unbelievable," he said. "I never heard anything like it before. I always wondered how that girl is. I don't know her name. I just vaguely remember her. You don't know how much I want to see her, so bad. To know she's ok."

Strickland says he and Padilla, a former Navy corpsman, stayed behind to help shelter the wounded young woman when the shots began. Eventually, they all were separated in the chaos. 

One year later, Strickland says he does his best to go out to events. The day after our interview, he and Rich headed to a Jason Aldean concert in Wheatland, to help them find closure. Aldean is Strickland's favorite country singer and was performing when the Las Vegas shooter began firing on the crowd. The men then returned to Vegas to meet with other survivors. 

On this anniversary of a great tragedy, Strickland has a message of hope: "Know that I may not know you, but I am for you. You'll always have my support. It gets better. It gets better." 

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