LAS VEGAS - Kristin Babik was in Las Vegas Sunday night enjoying a country music concert when a 64-year-old gunman broke out two windows at the Mandalay Bay hotel and opened fire on the crowd of 22,000.
Babik, a 24-year-old law student at the University of Florida, hadn’t expected to go to the show but managed to get a ticket.
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“I was so excited to go because it was sold out when I was looking,” she said.
Babik was with a friend near the stage when she heard what, at first, sounded like firecrackers.
It quickly became apparent that the noise was gunfire, not fireworks, but before she could get away, Babik was hit by a bullet in the back.
“I just remember feeling something hit my back, and it was, like, it was a very hard impact,” she said. “After the third (volley of gunfire), when people really started panicking and running away and people started taking it more seriously, is when I got hit.”
By the time the gunman stopped shooting 10 minutes later, 58 people were dead and hundreds were injured.
Babik was able to get out of the venue with the help of friends and other concertgoers, and made it to the hospital.
The bullet that hit her narrowly missed hitting her spinal cord, which would have likely paralyzed her.
Due to the location of the bullet, doctors couldn’t take it out, Babik said.
“I’m just kind of scared for the future, because the bullet has to stay in my back,” she said. “They can’t remove it.”
Babik said the bullet will be a constant reminder of how things could have ended differently.
“No one did anything to deserve this, and now, over 50 people lost their lives and I could’ve been one of them,” she said.
While Babik was saddened by the loss of life from the attack, she said it was beautiful to see how the community came together in its wake.
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