Las Vegas shooting survivors and Inland Empire natives share their thoughts on one-year anniversary

Las Vegas shooting victim and survivor Kaila Morales attended Lisa Vanderpump’s fundraiser in West Hollywood on the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas tragedy.
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October 1 marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 concert goers and wounded 527.

The Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting has been noted as one of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings in history.

A large portion of the victims are from Southern California and many in the Inland Empire experienced the tragedy, including Inland Empire residents Kaila Morales and Katie Boardman.

“I can’t believe it’s already been a full year, sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Since then, I’m very on edge and when I hear certain sounds…I find myself jumping up. I realized that we’re not promised tomorrow, so you should live life to the fullest and always tell your loved ones ‘I love you,’” said Morales.

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A year ago Morales stated, “As Jason Aldean started performing I stood and recorded a video. My friend and I were in the middle, toward the back and we decided to try to make our way into the crowd going closer to the stage to meet up with another friend. As we were already holding onto each other, making our way through the crowd, we heard what sounded like fireworks. I ‘ve seen Jason Aldean before and at every concert he has fireworks, so my initial thought was, ‘what was that…fireworks?’”

Morales said she and her friend stood there confused noticing there was nothing in the sky and they continued to hear the shots go off.

Morales recalled that it all happened so quickly, but it felt like a long time because of the shots continuing to fire. Morales and her friend, hand in hand, ran for their lives and survived the attack.

Boardman, who was at the festival all three days, but luckily absent during the time of the shooting, said, “I can’t even believe it’s been a year already…I remember this day so vividly, like it was yesterday. I remember absolutely having the time of my life hours before the chaos. I remember being up front, touching the stage waiting for Jason Aldean to come on, when my best friend said, ‘I have to get out of here. We have to go, I’m having such bad anxiety, something doesn’t feel right.’”

Boardman said she recalls being upset having to leave before Aldean’s show.

“I remember just barely getting out of Las Vegas and my mom calling me in a panic, sounding relieved when I answered. She asked, ‘Where are you? Are you safe?’ I said, ‘What? Yeah. Of course I’m safe. I’m on my way home from Vegas.’ Then just silence on the phone,” continued Boardman.

“Reality started kicking in, as we were slowly getting more information about how bad the incident was. My best friend and I were safe, but I had so many loved ones that were still at that concert. I can’t even express the panic and the feeling I had waiting for my friends to pick up the phone to tell me they were safe and the relief I had when I heard their voice on the other end. My phone was blowing up all night with people calling me crying, saying they thought I was dead,” said Boardman.

Roughly 28 of the 58 victims in the deadly shooting were from Southern California.

“Today I woke up not knowing how to feel. I’d say for the most part I was just numb because I had all these emotions that I was feeling. Feelings of sorrow and sadness and also feelings of happiness that I am alive,” Morales said.

Morales attended Real House Wives of Beverly Hills Lisa Venderpump Las Vegas Shooting Fundraiser on Monday, October 1, in West Hollywood.

“It was nice to attend something where many others experienced the same thing. It was also nice for Lisa to hold such an event and honor the victims, because since then the media has not talked much about what happened. The event was filmed for the show and there were guest speakers, cocktails and appetizers,” concluded Morales.

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