Ve­gas shoot­ing sur­vivor one of coun­try bar vic­tims

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

THOU­SAND OAKS, Calif. — Barely a year af­ter sur­viv­ing a mas­sacre at a coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val in Las Ve­gas, Bren­dan Kelly found him­self in a ter­ri­fy­ingly fa­mil­iar scene.

Kelly, 22, said he was danc­ing with friends at a bar in sub­ur­ban Los An­ge­les on Wed­nes­day night when the bul­lets be­gan fly­ing. When the gun­fire was over, 12 peo­ple were dead, in­clud­ing a Navy vet­eran who had lived through the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. his­tory a year ago.

“I al­ready didn’t wish it on any­body to be­gin with for the first time,” Kelly said out­side his home in Thou­sand Oaks. “The sec­ond time around doesn’t get any eas­ier.”

Kelly, a Marine, said he heard “pop, pop” at Border­line Bar and Grill and in­stantly knew it was gun­fire.

“The chills go up your spine. You don’t think it’s real — again,” he said.

The mother of the 27-yearold man killed in the lat­est at­tack, Telemachus “Tel” Or­fanos, said her son sur­vived Ve­gas only to die in­side Border­line, less than 10 min­utes from his home.

“Here are my words: I want gun con­trol,” said Su­san Sch­midt-Or­fanos, her voice shak­ing with grief and rage. “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts.”

She said she wanted Congress “to pass gun con­trol so no one else has a child that doesn’t come home.”

Or­fanos’ fa­ther, Marc Or­fanos, told the Ven­tura County Star: “It is par­tic­u­larly ironic that af­ter sur­viv­ing the worst mass shoot­ing in mod­ern his­tory, he went on to be killed in his home­town.”

Dani Mer­rill, who sur­vived both Ve­gas and Border­line, was among mourn­ers at a packed the­atre Thurs­day hon­our­ing vic­tims of the more re­cent shoot­ing.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, she said she’s most up­set that the blood­shed is now af­fect­ing where she lives.

“I’m su­per up­set that it hap­pened in our home, and I feel aw­ful for the fam­i­lies that have to go through this,” said Mer­rill

RYAN PEAR­SON/AP

Border­line shoot­ing sur­vivor Bren­dan Kelly shows his tat­too, a re­minder of the Ve­gas mas­sacre last year.

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