MILWAUKEE -- The first flight from Las Vegas landed Monday afternoon, October 2nd at Mitchell International Airport -- hours after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
A gunman on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino rained heavy fire down on a crowd of over 22,000 at an outdoor country music festival, turning the expanse into a killing field from which there was little escape. At least 59 people died, and more than 500 were hurt.
Southwest Flight 1523
Some passengers from Southwest Flight 1523 from Vegas wiped tears from their eyes as they headed to baggage claim at Mitchell Airport. Some were too overwhelmed and emotional to even talk about what happened. Some said they were still trying to get ahold of loved ones.
"It's very devastating to deal with it," Olivia Vallee said.
FOX6 News heard from passengers who said word spread fast regarding the shooting. Hotels were placed on lockdown and some panicked, unaware of what was going on.
"We stayed in the Venetian and word traveled down the Strip very fast and it just became very chaotic," a traveler said.
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Police and rescue personnel gather at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Ave. after a reported mass shooting at a country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire
Police form a perimeter around the road leading to the Mandalay Hotel (background) after a gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 400 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 2, 2017. The g
The first flight from Vegas arrived around 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee time. Passengers said they're shaken and happy to be home. Some on vacation took early flights back to Milwaukee, and were running on little sleep.
One woman from Vegas traveling to Milwaukee on business said Monday she was still waiting for word as to whether any friends or family members were among the victims.
"We weren't sure what was going on and then all of sudden a couple people said 'there's a shooter. Go, go,'" Matt Beric said.
Beric said he was on the Strip with his brother and their girlfriends. They were in Vegas on vacation, and a stranger gave them shelter when hotels started being placed on lockdown and panic spread from every corner.
"A complete stranger helped us out. He was great -- really helpful -- giving us Gatorade, trying to help us out the best he can," Beric said.
Beric said Monday they were running on virtually no sleep. He said as soon as they could, they changed their flight and let loved ones know they were OK. They came home early after the shooting.
"At the hotel we were...people were crying, but the hotel was secure," Beric said.
Vallee, who flew to Milwaukee on a business trip with her husband said they were still trying to reach loved ones.
"We are trying to find out right now if any of our friends and family are in this," Vallee said. "We are very shocked. We are very upset. We don't want anything like this to happen in our country."
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