Local News

Actions

Off-duty troopers tell story of Las Vegas escape

Posted at 11:19 PM, Oct 05, 2017

After getting their families to safety, a pair of off-duty troopers raced back in to the Route 91 Harvest Festival to help the injured.

"Just didn't sound like normal gunshots,” Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Shawn Eckert said.
 
Eckert and trooper Adam Whitmarsh say it wasn't until Jason Aldean left the stage they realized something was wrong.

"When we saw people going down in front of us is when we knew this is serious," Whitmarsh said.

That's when their instincts kicked in.

"We just put our wives and the females in the group on the inside of the circle and we got on the outside and started moving," Eckert said.

The core group kept growing with the pair along with two other friends scooping up the scared and injured as they worked their way to the exit.

"When you see people hiding behind things like chairs and things that aren't going to protect them.  We need to get them moving," Whitmarsh said.

Once they got outside, both made the same decision.

"I just turned around and went back," Whitmarsh said. "You just don't think."

Eckert, because of a phone call from another trooper.

"He said his daughter was inside, her friend had been shot," Eckert said. "I said if something happens to me, I have a 14-year-old son, make sure he is taken care of."

Whitmore to help the injured.

"There was a girl inside the medical tent cutting blankets so we could make tourniquets," Whitmarsh said.

Neither realizing the scope of the danger until getting back to their families.

"The walk back to find my wife over by Hooters, that is where it set in," Whitmarsh said.

Both saying they wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, as so many others did that night.

"I don't feel like a hero. I honestly wish I could have gone and done more," Eckert said.

"It is America coming together.  It is not just Vegas, it is America," Whitmore said.

Both troopers say they were amazed by the response of the people at the concert, who didn’t have the training they do saying they believe those people saved countless lives.