UPDATE @ 2:34 p.m.:
A group of five Eaton women are in Las Vegas and witnessed the chaos that followed the shooting at the Route 91 concert Sunday night.
Janet Eby was one of the women and she said the group found out about the shooting when they got off the bus on the Las Vegas strip.
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“At that point we just attempted to head back to the hotel,” Eby said. “The eerie thing was that everyone on the strip and walking was solemn, everyone was on their cell phones, we could hear the police, see the police, going down the street"
Eby is a member of the women’s singing group “Something Good,” who are spending time in Vegas for what she described as a “girls week out.” The group is staying at the Marriott Grand Chateu.
A Bellbrook native attending the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas left minutes before the shooting began, according to her mother.
Molly Sparks called her mother, Lori, early Monday and told her about the mass shootings.
“As a parent getting that 2 a.m. phone call from your children is heart-stopping,” Lori Sparks posted on Facebook.
“I got that call (this morning) from my daughter Molly Sparks who had been at that country concert in Las Vegas, but luckily had left about 30 minutes before the chaos started,” she added. “Those that were not so lucky, my heart goes out to their families and I will pray for the injured as well. I hope that type of call never happens again.”
A local couple vacationing in Las Vegas chose not to attend the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas at the last minute, a decision that may have saved their lives."
Holly Bennett, who is from Xenia, and her husband were in Las Vegas the night tragedy struck after a gunman opened fire at a concert, killing at least 50 people and wounding over 200, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. They are safe after deciding to attend another show, rather than the Route 91 Festival the night of October 1.
“We decided not to go because of the chaos that happened the night before”, said Bennett. “Instead, we ended up going to a Cirque du Soleil show.”
Bennett was staying at The Mirage hotel, which is right next to the Mandalay Bay where the shootings occurred and fortunately got word of the shootings early and made an escape plan.
“There was word of a shooting, so we went seven miles downtown to stay away from it”, she said.
Bennett has been stuck at a downtown Las Vegas casino since the shootings first occurred and is unsure when she or the many others who are stuck as well, will be able to go back to their hotel.
“The entire strip is shut down, back roads are closed, and they are not allowing residents to get back in their hotel, especially at the New York-New York hotel”, Bennett said.
She said police are investigating the New York-New York Hotel specifically, which is right across the street from the Mandalay Bay, and she is unsure why.
Nonetheless, Bennett says police have been great with giving out information and updating everyone on the unexpected situation.
“Knowing this to be one of the largest shootings, it is unbelievable and shocking”, said Bennett. “The atmosphere is weird, kind of somber, and strange”.
Bennett is not scheduled to fly out of Las Vegas until Wednesday and although flights have been affected by the incident, she believes she will have no problem getting home.