New Mexicans describe scene in Las Vegas following mass shooting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexicans who were in Las Vegas during the mass shooting at a country music festival are talking about how they managed to escape.

Marcy Sandoval was at the Albuquerque Sunport Monday afternoon with her grandchildren, waiting for their mom, Melissa Esquibel.

Esquibel was in Las Vegas Sunday night at a country music concert when she called home.

“Scrambling, we could smell gunpowder, we could see the bullets, people being shot. It was just awful to see the sheer panic. My heart is just racing I couldn’t wait to get here,” Esquibel said.

She says all she could think about were her kids.

“I’m still very numb and in shock and sometimes it hits me, and I realize how lucky we are, that I was able to make it home to my children,” she said.

Esquibel says it was the friends she was with and the kindness of complete strangers that helped her get out alive.

Another Albuquerque woman who was also at the concert says when she heard gunshots, she grabbed her 14-year-old daughter and did everything to get away.

“I kind of followed the crowd. If they dropped, we dropped. If they got up and ran, that’s what we did. I kept talking to her saying, ‘We are going to be okay, we are going to get out of this,’ and thank God that we both did,” Jenn Salazar said.

She says it was supposed to be a special trip with her daughter. A break in the gunfire gave them a chance to escape.

Salazar says they ran into two women driving away in a truck who gave them a ride. She calls those women angels.

A woman from Grants and her friends had just left the concert when their hotel went into lockdown. They were staying next door at the Luxor and couldn’t leave their rooms all night.

Jenna Rodriguez described a heartbreaking scene Monday morning as she left.

“The casino was silent. Everybody was laying down, crying, shaking, covered with towels from the pool, sleeping at the slot machines, laying on the floor. Some people had blood on them. It was horrible,” Rodriguez said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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