LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- More than seven months after the deadly Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, a Springfield couple who survived the tragedy has returned to Las Vegas for the first time.
Wayne and Kyla Lowell, who were at the VIP tent when the shooting began, were not injured the night of Oct. 1, 2017, but they continue to carry the emotional trauma of survivor’s guilt.
“You don’t believe something like that is going to happen to you,” Kyla said. “Like you see it on the news and the things that have happened since then. It’s like the empathy I have for these people that are dealing with this because it’s very real. And then all of a sudden, a few days later, it’s the next news story and people forget that it’s happened, but those memories of that night, in my opinion, will never go away.”
The morning after the shooting, KEZI 9 News Morning Anchor Bryan Anderson spoke with Kyla Lowell on the phone as the Lowells headed through the airport to return home. Bryan remained in contact with the couple over the months that followed.
Bryan is on location in Nevada with the couple detailing their emotional journey as part of a special report. “The Weight of Survival” Part 1 airs tonight at 5 and 6, and Bryan will be live again Tuesday morning. Tune in to KEZI 9 News to get the full story of the couple’s survival and video from that night, or watch it at kezi.com/livestream.
Wayne Lowell said that one of the hardest things he had to do that night “was tell a husband that is holding onto his wife, ‘You gotta move. You can’t stay here.’ And their spouse is obviously not making it and there was gunfire still going on. And I had to grab people and tell them, ‘You have to move. You cannot stay here.’”
The Las Vegas shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history and sparked the “Vegas Strong” movement, in which the community has come together to show its strength after the tragedy. At the site of the famous “Welcome Las Vegas” sign, words of love and encouragement are written to remember the 58 people who died when gunfire came from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.