Five KVOO contest winners survive attack at country music festival in Las Vegas

Posted at 4:30 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 06:45:06-04

TULSA -- A group of local country music fans headed home Monday from Las Vegas after they won a radio contest to go to the very festival that was targeted by the gunman. 

KVOO, the Scripps radio station, sent five listeners and their loved ones to attend the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The contest winners all survived the attack that killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds of others. 

Sherry Hale and her husband, Bob, won tickets to see some of their favorite country artists perform, including Jason Aldean. They went to watch him Sunday night, but the sounds of rapid gunfire and people screaming cut short the concert. 

"It's an experience I never thought I'd experience in my lifetime, ever," Sherry said. "You always watch it on TV, see it in other countries, other places. You're never there. This time, we were there." 

Sherry said she initially mistook the gunfire for fireworks, but she and her husband quickly realized what it actually was. 

"We looked up. We could actually see the gunfire coming from the Mandalay Bay window," Sherry said. "That's when (my husband) pushed me, and we started running." 

The Hales eventually made it to safety, but, before they could find cover, they kept having to throw themselves onto the ground. 

"You could hear the bullets ricocheting off the asphalt in front of us and around us," Sherry said.

"It was horrible," she added. "It looked like a war zone, but there were people going to help people that were injured even though they knew they might shoot again." 

Sherry said it amazed her to see the best of humanity emerge when people risked their own lives to go back into the event grounds to attend to some of the shooting victims. 

"There were people helping people. It didn't make any difference what color they were or anything," she said. "If they were hurt, somebody went to them, got them in a truck and got them to a hospital."