ASU student on Las Vegas attack: 'People being shot everywhere'

Posted at 4:36 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 22:19:39-04

It was supposed to be a celebration over a successful battle with breast cancer, but ASU senior Kendal Balas says she and her family are just lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping a killer 32 stories up.

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"It was my first time in Vegas being 21, it was supposed to be such a fun weekend," said Kendal Balas. "My mom's a breast cancer survivor, so my parents have been going since Route 91 started to celebrate."

A trip that she says was meant to celebrate life, ended in so much death.

"There were people being shot everywhere," Balas described.

Balas was just off stage right when the bullets rained down from the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. ?

"My parents were laying on top of my sister and I, my dad was like, 'The guy behind me, he got shot, he's dead.' He was just motionless," said Balas.

She says as thousands dove to the ground, others fled the venue grounds on foot. With each pop of gun fire, Balas wondered if they would make it.

"We couldn't even run because we were in the front row right up against the barricade, so we were stuck between the barricade and thousands of people behind us," said Balas.

Eventually she and her family made it beneath the stage. Huddled together in prayer, Balas says it would be nearly two hours before a sheriff's deputy would guide them to safety.

Within seconds of emerging from underneath the stage, Balas says it looked like a warzone, but it was also inspiring.

"I just saw a bunch of humans, helping other humans," said Balas.

Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters now left mourning, something Balas says she'll continue to do for a long time.

"Going through something like that really makes you grateful for what you have."