'WE WERE TWO OF THE LUCKY ONES'

Aussie cou­ple Re­nee and Chad Cary cow­ered in fear as they hid from the crazed Ve­gas gun­man

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Making News -

It was sup­posed to be the trip of a life­time for Re­nee and Chad Cary. The young Aussie cou­ple were do­ing a 24-day t trip across the States to cel­e­brate t their first wed­ding an­niver­sary.

Lit­tle did they re­alise they’d b be caught up in the ter­ror of the L Las Ve­gas mas­sacre as gun­man S Stephen Pad­dock opened fire in t the worst mass shoot­ing in US h his­tory, killing 59 peo­ple and w wound­ing 527.

THET FIRST SHOTS

“It’s“the sort of thing you see on TVT but you never think it’s go­ing tot hap­pen to you,” Re­nee, 28, tellst Woman’s Day ex­clu­sively. “We“just thank our lucky stars thatt some­one was watch­ing over usu and we were the lucky ones.”

The cou­ple from Spring Farm, 6 65km south-west of Syd­ney, had e en­joyed a night out at the Luxor Ho­tel watch­ing magician Criss An­gel. They were walk­ing back to Cae­sars Palace, where they were stay­ing, when the first shots rang out shortly af­ter 10pm.

“We thought it was fire­works from the fes­ti­val, so we were look­ing up in the sky think­ing, ‘Where are they?’” says Re­nee.

Soon af­ter, there was a sec­ond burst of gun­fire.

“We still didn’t re­ally know what was hap­pen­ing, then a few peo­ple started scream­ing that there was a shooter,” Re­nee re­calls. “Even then, be­cause so many peo­ple walk around in­tox­i­cated in Ve­gas, we weren’t re­ally sure what to be­lieve. We still didn’t take it se­ri­ously, but we fol­lowed the crowd back into the Luxor and played the pok­ies.

“Then we could hear shots again and sud­denly hun­dreds of peo­ple ran in. There were peo­ple ev­ery­where scream­ing. We took the el­e­va­tor up to the rooms to find some­where safe to hide, and we were walk­ing the cor­ri­dors bang­ing on the doors beg­ging for some­one to open up. At this point I started freak­ing out and burst into tears.”

Some­how they man­aged to fol­low a small group back down­stairs, where they bumped into a ho­tel en­gi­neer com­ing out of the spa. He quickly ush­ered every­one into the spa lobby.

“I said to Chad, ‘Are we trust­ing this man?’ I didn’t know who to trust,” Re­nee ex­plains, her voice break­ing. “We didn’t know how many shoot­ers there were, we didn’t know where they were.

“It did run through my mind that this could be it. We went in and sat down and were told to stay quiet and stay down. We all hud­dled up to­gether and came up with a plan for what to do if he came through the doors.”

At this stage, the only news the cou­ple were get­ting was from so­cial me­dia reports.

SCARED AND IN HID­ING

“We heard that there were three shoot­ers – one at the Bel­la­gio, a shooter in the Mi­rage and shots fired at New York-new York,” says Re­nee. “By 12.30am we had no idea what was true and what wasn’t. We were tired and ter­ri­fied.”

When the group was moved to a room with a TV, they fi­nally learned what had hap­pened.

‘It did run through my mind that this could be it’

“See­ing it on the news, we re­alised just how close we were to be­ing in his line of fire,” Re­nee re­veals. “We could see the Man­dalay Ho­tel from where we were stand­ing look­ing up to the sky to see the fire­works. If he had turned his an­gle just a bit, who knows what could’ve hap­pened.”

It was only once a Las Ve­gas sher­iff came on TV to say the sus­pect was de­ceased, and that po­lice didn’t be­lieve there were any other shoot­ers, that Re­nee and Chad, 29, re­alised that they were go­ing to be OK.

“When we fi­nally felt it was safe to leave, at about 4.30 in the morn­ing, it was sur­real,” says Re­nee. “There were peo­ple wrapped up in sheets and tow­els against the cold. The strip was closed and there were peo­ple ev­ery­where e try­ing to get home.”

Re­nee is heart­bro­ken for the vic­tims – but de­ter­mined the ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal won’t stop her get­ting on with life.

“Th­ese things, as aw­ful as they are, you can’t stop liv­ing. You can’t not go on hol­i­day, or not go to a con­cert be­cause you’re scared that some­thing like this is go­ing to hap­pen.”

Pad­dock broke s the win­dow AND FIRED

Re­nee and Chad be­fore the hor­rific events un­folded.

Heav­ily armed of­fi­cers move in af­ter the mass shoot­ing.

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