Santa Maria - North County

Santa Maria man grateful to be home after surviving Vegas shooting

Santa Maria man attended concert in...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Joseph Vazquez is hugging his family a little bit tighter. He was at that concert in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Vazquez and his friend were about 20 feet away from the stage. 

"Everybody was screaming, the music was off, you hear nothing but, screaming and gun shots,” said Vazquez. 

It’s an image he keeps playing in his mind -- the chaos all around him as people ran in every direction trying to figure out what was happening.

"Everyone was running so I started running too and I fall and hide behind this thing because I hear it [gun shots] go off and off,” he said. 

Bullets were raining down on concert goers as Stephen Paddock continued to fire his rifles from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.

"I hid somewhere for the first time and then I got up, they started shooting again and I walked off toward the back to the VIP bungalows,” he added. 

After that, he hid a few more times. As he ran closer and closer towards the exit trying to reach a safe place to hide as quickly as he could.

"I look on the floor I see blood and I started running out toward the back of the exit,” Vazquez said. 

He knows how close he came to being shot. He's thankful he didn't bring his 6-year-old son to the concert.

"This year and last year I said I am going to take him, but, he’s not too interested in that music yet,” he added. 

In the middle of the craziness he called his family with a special message for his son. 

"I dialed for my son, his mother, I said hey I’m okay, something serious happen if something happens let my son know I love him,” he said. They were words Vazquez said he never thought he would have to say.

"Are you hugging him a little extra tighter, oh yeah a lot tighter,” said Vazquez. 

This was Vazquez's third year going to the route 91 Music Festival. He said it's good to be back home.


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