NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Holly and Tracy Pitre decided to go to Las Vegas for their anniversary. Being country music fans, the Route 91 Harvest Festival was on their itinerary. But the Houma couple had no idea they would soon find themselves in the middle of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
"I heard the pop, pop, the first two or three pops," said Holly Pitre.
She thought maybe it was fireworks that were part of a performance on the strip.
"Then all of a sudden, it was just something from a movie. You heard the automatic, the ammunition, pop, pop, pop. I knew at that instant we were in trouble," she said.
She and her husband took off running as fast as they could.
"It was horrific. The biggest thing that sticks in my mind is, no matter how fast or how far you ran, the way everything echoed down that strip, it just seemed like he was following," Tracy Pitre said.
They described the scene as mass chaos. They ran from casino to casino not knowing where the shooter was. Rumors were also rampant.
"They had a rumor that the gunman was in the MGM Grand, and then all of a sudden another mass wave of chaos, people just trampling, running through the MGM Grand and saying, 'the shooter's in here, the shooter's in here,' so we just kept running," said Holly Pitre.
Until they spotted a cab.
"They had a taxi cab just sitting there on a road off to the side. I just waved and he said, 'get in,' and I told him just take us as far away from here," said Holly Pitre.
We now know that the shooter was targeting concertgoers from a window inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel. At least 17 guns were found in Stephen Paddock's room. Investigators say he killed 59 people and injured 527.
The Pitres are now back in Louisiana, thankful to be alive. But they're thinking of those who didn't make it home.
"It's just a lot of emotions going on right now, just feeling very blessed and happy that, you know, we made it, but then just so sad for the people who were not fortunate," said Holly Pitre.
Holly said she was signed up to run a marathon in New Orleans in March, but now she won't be attending. And even though she is active and loves football, this has changed her perspective on going to events with large crowds.