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1 October survivor reacts to MGM plans

MGM plans to use 1 October festival grounds as community center, parking
Posted at 2:44 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 02:26:39-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV/AP) — MGM Resorts says it plans to convert the shuttered Las Vegas Strip festival grounds that were the site of a 2017 mass shooting into a community and athletic center and parking for the new stadium being built for the NFL's Oakland Raiders.

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MGM Resorts announced the plans in a statement Tuesday:

"We know that for many, the Village property will forever be linked to the tragic loss of life that took place there on Oct. 1. We will never forget the victims, and all of those impacted by that evening. As the second anniversary nears, we remain committed to being part of the community effort to continue healing and moving forward."

“I see myself running out of the parking lot, running out of gate 4,” says Li’Shey Johnson, who was trampled in the crowd during the shooting.

She’s been on the road to recovery for the past two years, dealing with physical pain and psychological trauma.

Johnson is not for the plans.

“The thought of parking my car there, absolutely not. And those that park their car there, hear my story, and let me know how you feel by parking your car there,” says Johnson.

"In this spirit, MGM Resorts plans to build a community and athletic center on the north end of the property, which will be home to sporting events and community gatherings. We hope one day it will host high school basketball tournaments, indoor soccer for kids and provide a place for the Aces to practice and engage with the community to inspire the next generation of female athletes."

"It was important to us that the long-term use of the property include the community in some way. We also plan to create a space on the property to remember the victims of the tragedy."

RELATED: Las Vegas police release final batch of 1 October documents

The company owns the site of Route 91 festival grounds and the Mandalay Bay casino-resort, where a gunman in a high-rise suite opened fire on the crowd of 22,000 - killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

The shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history.

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MGM continued its Tuesday statement:

"In the near term, while these plans are underway, the property will revert back from festival grounds to a parking area and will serve as parking during games and concerts taking place at Allegiant Stadium. Over the coming weeks and months, there will be construction activity near the property to ensure the safety of pedestrians crossing the street toward the stadium."

"We will share plans for the community and athletic center as they advance. We will also support the future community effort around a permanent, public memorial when that process begins."

Johnson wants to the land to be used soley as a place of healing and remembrance.

“It needs to be the healing garden, the official healing garden and it needs to be a memorial and not just for the 58 angels, but a memorial for us, to give us some closure as well,” says Johnson.