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Beaumont family survives Las Vegas mass shooting – and the rest of that night

By in Press Enterprise on October 4, 2017

By Suzanne Hurt

A Beaumont family is reeling after surviving a harrowing night in Las Vegas that felt like “another 9/11.”

The Kuntz family escaped from Sunday’s Route 91 Harvest festival unscathed, only to take a ride-sharing trip that went horribly wrong before getting trapped in a locked-down hotel.

“Two days later, I’m just glad to be alive,” said Scott Kuntz, who goes each year to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in the Coachella Valley.

He, his wife Stephanie, and his daughter Madisyn, a 21-year-old Las Vegas resident, joined two other Beaumont families at the event.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Kuntz recalled the melee that broke out on the outdoor country music festival’s last night shortly after he heard what first sounded like fireworks while country star Jason Aldean played.

Aldean and the crowd kept rolling until more gunshots rang out about a minute later. The firing was so loud, the crowd and police thought the shooter was in the concert area.

Aldean suddenly bailed off the stage and “ bodies started rolling,” said Kuntz, 50.

They were in the back near concessions and got separated from their friends as people tried to flee through the only exit.

“We’re looking at 22,000 people running at us — like bulls,” Kuntz said.

He believes most of the 59 people killed by gunman Stephen Craig Paddock, who authorities say fired from his 32nd-floor room in Mandalay Bay hotel, were near the stage under bright concert lights.

People hit the ground for cover and trampled all over each other. Kuntz felt bad for large people he saw who couldn’t run fast enough. Arms were broken and legs were injured.

Kuntz stuffed his wife and daughter under a vendor’s table that had a drape in front and got on top of them until more gates opened. Then they ran for at least half a mile, passing a Hooters […]    

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