Nebraska family escapes Vegas concert unharmed after gunfire erupts

Nebraska family escapes Vegas concert unharmed after gunfire erupts
Courtesy Photo

Travis Buhr first thought fireworks were going off. But then Buhr, who’s a hunter, recognized the sound.

“Boom, boom, boom,” he said. “We knew.”

Buhr, his wife, Kelly, and their twin 14-year-old daughters were on the edge of the crowd when a gunman unleashed a barrage of bullets at concertgoers in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Buhr, of Adams, Nebraska, said their spot made it easier to escape.

Buhr said he and his family linked hands and began dashing through a maze of vendor booths. He said his family would crouch and take cover when the gunman was firing, then run when he paused.

They were unharmed.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of more than 22,000 people when the gunman opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.

The gunman killed at least 58 people, officials said Monday. More than 515 other victims were taken to the hospital, authorities said.

Buhr said it was a chaotic scene. Some people fell or got knocked over as they tried to escape.

He said a lot of people didn’t know what direction the bullets were coming from, so some ran toward the shooter without knowing it.

His family finally made it back to their hotel, about a mile from where the shooting occurred.

The family was planning to fly back to Nebraska today.

“We’re grateful we made it out,” Buhr said.

Don Wanek, of Crete, Nebraska, was stepping off a bus at his Las Vegas hotel Sunday night when he heard the noise.

“We just heard pop, pop, pop,” he said. “We’re like, that’s gunfire. There were cop cars going by us left and right.”

Wanek is in Las Vegas for a travel agent convention and is staying at a hotel two doors down from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, where the mass shooting occurred.

He said he and his group of other travel agents dashed inside their hotel and gathered in one of their rooms to listen to a police scanner as the tragedy continued to unfold.

“It was scary,” said Wanek, who will fly back to Nebraska today. “We were feeling thankful we were upstairs and safe.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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