Concert-goers who were at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1 will never ever forget the horrific shooting. For Ashley Quiocho, however, the grim incident will not only stay in her memories, but in her body as well.
Quiocho, who was raised in Waipahu, Hawaii, was one of the survivors of the Las Vegas shooting that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured 527 more in what is now considered the “deadliest mass shooting in United States history.”
Quiocho was hit twice during that tragic night. Doctors were able to remove the bullet fragments in her hand, but they were unable to extract the one bullet lodged in her backside.
“There’s a bullet that’s lodged in my butt and it actually has to stay there forever. It’s near arteries, so if I get the surgery, it would be worse,” she said, Hawaii News Now reported.
While speaking with reporters, Quiocho recalled how everyone was having fun at the Harvest Festival. When the music stopped, however, the nightmare began.
“We kept singing and dancing and the music kept playing, and there was a pause. You know, it stopped. And then the second round started and we were looking around and you know, not knowing what was going on still, and we were like, ‘What is that? ‘What’s going on?’,” she said.
It was then the festival attendees realized that a gunman, later identified as 64-year-old high roller gambler Stephen Paddock, was raining bullets down on the crowd of over 22,000.
“Once it stopped shooting, we’d run again. We kept running and we were screaming — you know, ‘Keep running! Keep running!’ to each other,” Quiocho explained.
She described bodies lying on the ground as she and two friends ran for cover, while others had someone shielding them from the flying bullets.
Quiocho was eventually hit by a bullet on her right hand while she and her friends ducked for cover. But because of the adrenaline, she brushed it off like she was only hit by two paint balls. One of her friends, however, was shocked after she told him that she was fine.
“And he looked at me and he goes, ‘Oh my God you’re not fine, you’re bleeding everywhere,'” Quiocho said. “And I looked down and I didn’t realize that my hands covered in blood, and I was wearing white shorts and that was covered in blood, and blood down my legs, all over my boots and stuff, my cowboy boots.“
Quiocho was eventually brought to the nearest hospital after her boyfriend found her. The hospital was in chaos as well.
“Everybody in the hospital was bleeding. There were some in the gurneys that were pulsing. They were just trembling. Some weren’t even moving,” she told KHON2.
Quiocho felt very lucky to survive the incident and was grateful to those who helped during the shooting.
“I’m very thankful that my injuries are not life-threatening or as severe as others. I’m extremely lucky. I’m taking this with all positivity, because I saw the craziest stuff in there,” she told the station.