PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some Pittsburgh-area natives who were in Las Vegas to enjoy a music festival or take a vacation were caught in the chaos when a shooter opened fire, killing at least 59 people and injuring hundreds.
A woman who grew up in Baden, Beaver County, was shot in the chest during the mayhem.
Rosemarie Trautman-Melanson and her two daughters were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas when bullets rained down on the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Rosemarie’s daughter Paige was shot in the elbow. Her sister Stephanie was not hurt.
On a GoFundMe page set up to help the family, Stephanie Melanson posted a message Monday, in which she described being separated from her mother and desperately searching for her in the aftermath of the shooting.
“After 11 hours of searching, two hospital runs, hours of being covered in dirt, sweat, puke, blood, fear, and continuous prayers, the search is finally over, MY MOM IS ALIVE!!!!!! She’s in critical but stable condition.”
“Her gunshot hit to her right upper chest moved through her body but just missed her aorta. God was definitely looking out for my mother. She underwent an emergency surgery and is current healing. She is not awake at the moment by my dad and I are by her side.”
“The look of helpless(ness) my mom had when I left her there laying on the grass wounded with her cold pale face….I truly thought that was the last time I was going to see her,” Stephanie Melanson wrote.
Julie Beaver, a lifelong family friend, spoke on behalf of the family, who remains in a state of shock.
“[Rosemarie]’s done everything humanly possible to help other people,” Beaver said. “She helps get scholarships for kids. She’s done beautiful things for the March of Dimes. She’s all about giving and caring.”
Family members are hoping to catch a plane to Las Vegas as soon as possible.
Carnegie Woman Caught In Chaos Of Las Vegas Shooting —
A Carnegie woman was staying at a hotel near the music festival and experienced the panic and mayhem.
Marissa Jones arrived on Friday for a vacation with her best friend. They stayed at the MGM Grand, just a mile from Mandalay Bay and heard the shots as they were walking into the hotel to get their luggage for the trip home to Pittsburgh.
“As we’re going up the steps, we see people just running towards us down the steps, and my best friend heard a guy say, ‘Don’t come this way,’ so we’re turning around, about to run. I fall on the ground with my suitcase, get back up and just start running,” Jones said in a phone interview with KDKA-TV. “As we’re running, I just hear gunshots, like, real fast gunshots.”
“[My best friend] said, ‘Come on, Marissa,’ and she started to climb underneath a go-kart, and I followed after her, and we were side-by-side, body-to-body on top of rocks,” Jones continued.
Jones says as they were hiding, she checked the news on her phone and got updates from friends and family.
“Once they said police [were] no longer looking for a shooter, that’s when – ‘cause I was like, ‘Why are people coming out of the hotel?’” Jones said. “So eventually, we started getting up. We had dirt all over us. My knee was bleeding. It was crazy.”
Jones says she was shaky and started to cry in the aftermath.
“Along the way, I saw people recording. I saw people getting put on the ambulance bed to go to the hospital,” Jones said. “I want to get home, safe and sound.”
Jones and her friend were waiting to catch a connecting flight to Los Angeles and then to Pittsburgh. They expect to arrive home late Monday night.
Shippensburg Greyhound Wrestling posted on their Facebook page that their elementary wrestling coach, Bill Wolfe, was injured in the shooting. His condition is currently unknown.
Courtney Robey, a West Virginia native who was at the concert, said when the gunshots first rang out, she thought they were fireworks. She took cover under a section of bleachers, and then was taken into the Tropicana hotel by security.
Some Pittsburghers were already at the Las Vegas airport, getting ready to head home, when news of the shooting first started to spread. They said there was confusion as flights were delayed and conflicting rumors about what was happening.