Former WYTV reporter in Vegas: ‘I thought that I was going to die’

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Las Vegas, often thought of as a vacation getaway by many, was the horrific scene of a mass shooting that left 59 people dead and more than 500 injured late Sunday night. A familiar face to 33 WYTV’s Daybreak was there for her bachelorette party and found herself in the middle of the chaotic scene.

Katie Dugan was in Vegas Sunday night with her sisters and some of her friends. However, their trip was cut short.

They were watching the Bellagio Fountain show. One of them was even recording a video on Snapchat, when gunshots can be heard faintly in the background.

Dugan said it took a while for people on the Strip to realize what was going on but after hearing what they thought were gunshots near Caesar’s Palace, a stampede of people began running and trampling one another through the hotel.

“I thought that I was going to die. We were running and hearing this sound behind us and all of these people were falling. I was just waiting to be shot, honestly, and that’s what my sisters thought, too.”

They were able to take shelter in a tenth-floor hotel room at Caesar’s after pounding on doors, hoping someone would let them in. A couple let them into their room, where they remained on lockdown for nearly four hours.

Following the shooting, she said it was very quiet along the Vegas Strip and at the airport when they left.

Dugan said she was thankful that despite the fear, people helped one another to safety.

“The one good thing I noticed that came out of it was that there are truly good people out there,” she said. “Everybody was so scared and these people opened their doors to us and let us in their room when they knew that there was possible danger and they really made sure we were okay.”

What she experienced has changed her outlook forever.

“I think that I’m always going to be afraid. I think that you hear about these tragedies that happen all over the country, all over the world even, and you just think, ‘How terrible it is and how sad it is that those people passed away,'” Dugan said. “When you actually experience it for yourself and you’re running and you think that this is the time for you, that you’re going to die…it really shakes everything inside of you.”

Still, Dugan said she’s not going to let the fear stop her from living her life. Even though she’s scared to go on her upcoming honeymoon, she said she will not cancel it.

It does make her wonder, though, when shootings like this will ever stop.

“We obviously have to spread kindness and love to everyone and just keep your heart open to helping other people. I think that’s really the solution.”