B.C. couple ‘shaken but unharmed’ following Vegas mass shooting

More than 50 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history

A Nelson couple is shaken but unharmed in Las Vegas following the largest mass shooting in American history. A 64-year-old American man opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds more.

“I’m still very shaky. I think the whole time we didn’t really believe it was happening,” Karen Belland told the Star Monday morning, from her Las Vegas hotel room.

“We are so lucky to be alive. There were bullets flying right by us. And there’s that feeling that if we’d been a bit further to the left in the crowd, if we had run earlier, then maybe we wouldn’t have made it. Right now we’re feeling incredibly thankful.”

Belland was on vacation at a country music festival with her husband John and some Canadian friends from high school, and had spent the weekend attending a number of concerts. Then on Sunday evening, as headliner Jason Aldean was just beginning his set, she heard a popping noise in the distance.

“We were fairly close to the stage, and happened to be on the right hand side — which I think was a blessing, because we were sheltered from some of the gunfire. Some of our friends got up and ran but my husband and I, our two friends, we stayed on the ground.”

Eventually they jumped over a barricade and crawled under some bleachers, running past people laying on the ground as rapid-fire gunshots echoed through the night overhead.

“There were these short bursts, and then as soon as they stopped people would get up and run. There were a bunch of people, maybe 20 of us, and we were trying to hide because we thought the gunman was above us, but we really couldn’t tell where the gunshots were coming from.”

Then a security guard ordered them to follow him, and led them to safety. The Bellands beelined it to their hotel room, taking the back way to avoid the large crowds, and ended up hosting two other couples in their hotel room who had been stranded.

The gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock. He was discovered dead in his room with multiple guns.

Obviously, Belland is still processing what she just experienced.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I think we’re going to need to send more love. More hate isn’t going to cure this. We need to send love and love people more, that’s all I can say. If you give more love than you even need to, maybe that will make a difference and bring our world a little closer.”

Just Posted

Weekend collisions keep West Shore RCMP busy

Officers responded to three separate incidents within the span of one hour

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

E&N Rail Trail open house this Wednesday

Construction on segment between Atkins Avenue and Savory Elementary to start this fall

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

School of magic teaches youth to be themselves

Organizers hope to run the camp next summer as well

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read