After witnessing tragedy firsthand, Minnesotans return from Las Vegas

- A sense of mourning filled the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Monday as flights from Las Vegas brought witnesses home. Several concertgoers were caught right in the middle of the mass shooting and barely made it out alive.

Witness Eric Schaefer recorded video of country music star Jason Aldean performing on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Show just in front of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Minutes later, there were gunshots.

“I saw people getting shot and going down, and running in every direction and people were getting trampled, so that’s the other reason we told everyone to stay put,” he said.

Schaefer said he and his co-workers hid behind a make-shift bar with dozens of other people.
He stood to protect others crouching behind him and somehow was able to avoid getting shot.

“We just got people behind us and told them to get down, stay put, don’t move… and then people would get up and we would say stay put until this thing is over with,” he explained.

The Eagan, Minn. native was in Vegas for work and decided to go to the concert at the last minute. He said it looked like a war zone when he managed to get out of there.

“Every 10 yards there was a body on the ground with clearly visible blood.”

As people stepped off their flights from Vegas and grabbed their bags, they were just so relieved to be home.

"It was just mass chaos, people running over tables, tripping over tables, stuck, hiding -- it was pretty crazy," said Luther Schmidt, another witness.

Jon Hoese is a former Gopher Football standout and was also at the concert. Some of his friends were shot as they ran as fast as they could--but the gunfire kept going.

"When the shots rang out and everyone around was getting hit, the fact that we didn’t…we just got lucky,” he said.

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