SARASOTA, Fla. -- A Sarasota woman and her friend are counting their blessings this week. The two were at the Route 91 Music Festival Sunday night during the Las Vegas shooting.
“The best concert ever turned into the saddest and scariest night of my life,” says Cindy Wilds.
Cindy and her friend Natalie Vandivier were on their annual Vegas trip. They were in the VIP section for the Jason Aldean concert second row on the right side of the stage.
“Everybody was singing along having a great time,” says Cindy as she looks at the video she took during the concert video that included the Mandalay Bay Hotel minutes before the shooting began.
Cindy says, “That’s when the craziness started.” She had just switched from video to photo on her phone and taken a photo of Jason Aldean. "Two lines into the song, TA-TA-TA-TA (imitating gunfire).”
“I turned to my friend said firecrackers … then the second burst came. Jason Aldean stopped and got off the stage, everything went black, everybody panicked and started running,” recalls Cindy.
“We grabbed onto each other’s hand and ran like hell … ducking every time it started again. It seemed like forever. We saw people on the ground, I don’t know if they made it or not.
"We’re lucky to be alive. We had guardian angels out there.”
As shots rang out, Cindy, her friend and another woman found guardian angels -- heroes -- in several young men, strangers, who told them to hide behind a trailer. The men then formed a human wall.
“They said, 'Come in here, duck down.' They said, 'Guys, stand in front of them, it’ll hit us first,” says Cindy.
Nightmares wake Cindy up every night. “I come up with different scenarios, laying on the ground shot, looking up at my friend.”
As for Stephen Paddock, the man police say is responsible for 58 deaths and more than 500 people injured, Cindy says, “I can’t believe he didn’t kill more people.
"I’m not going to let this deranged person change my life or how I live it. I’m going out there again. I’m moving forward.”
Cindy and Natalie are getting together this weekend for a cookout. The two want to celebrate their friendship and families.
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