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Riverside woman recalls how she and her wounded husband fled from Las Vegas shooting scene

By in Press Enterprise on October 5, 2017

By Monica Rodriguez

RIVERSIDE >> Mindy Cowles of Riverside made her way out of the grounds where the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas took place Sunday without physical injuries, but she is still reliving the harrowing experience.

“It comes back in waves, waves of flashbacks,” Cowles, who is back in Riverside, said Wednesday.

“I have guilt, I guess,” Cowles said.”I have guilt that my husband had to calm me down and he was the one shot.”

She carries the memories of seeing people killed and seriously wounded.

Cowles was part of a group of about 23 friends and family who traveled to Las Vegas to attend the festival and who on Sunday night found themselves trying to escape the bullets that were raining on them and thousands of others when alleged gunman Stephen Paddock fired weapons from a nearby hotel tower.

Cowles’ husband, Dylan Bertino, and two other members of the group sustained minor wounds.

Cowles, a former star softball athlete at Riverside’s Poly High School who went on to excel at the college level, play professionally in Italy and now coaches the sport, said she and others in the group were near the center left of the stage when she heard what sounded like fireworks.

Just as she and others realized what they were hearing was gunfire, Cowles saw a man near them had been shot in the forehead, she said.

There was a pause in the gunfire and when it started again people in the group piled on each other, but they could hear people say they’d been shot, including her husband, Cowles said.

It became clear to them the gunfire wasn’t going to stop and someone said to run.

At one point, she and her husband became separated, but the couple would call out each other’s name as they fled.

“I followed his voice,” Cowles said. “We ran […]    

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