It’s been a month since a gunman murdered 58 people and wounded hundreds more at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. For many, the physical wounds are healing but for some, the emotional wounds are still deep.
Wednesday night, mourners outside police headquarters held a day of remembrance to honor the survivors and the victims gunned down in the carnage and chaos.
Kristine Schalk, who was at the concert with her sister and nephew when the shots rained down, tries not to think about the moment she said was beyond her worst nightmare. “It still feels very surreal,” Schalk said. “It felt a lot like something that was certainly out of body.”
Schalk, like so many concert-goers that night, at first thought she was hearing fireworks. Then reality hit.
“People were dropping, just falling to the ground,” Schalk said. “Pretty much mayhem.”
Schalk and her family ran and found cover behind a bar. She didn’t realize she was hit. “It was a very hot feeling. I took my hand away and i saw all the blood,” Schalk said.
A bullet pierced her neck, lodging in her cheek, just a hair from a vital part of her body. “My carotid artery,” Schalk said.
Doctors repaired the damage. Schalk was thankful she lived to remember the people who didn’t make it and to tell her story. “I was lucky and blessed to be alive.
“I’ll always have a scar to tell me it happened,” Schalk said.
Schalk has to undergo one more operation to remove shrapnel from her leg. She realizes she could have died, but just like that horrifying moment, she tries not to think about it.