By Tom Mustin
DENVER (CBS4)– Coloradans returning from Las Vegas were still shaken when they landed at Denver International Airport, hours after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Everyone was screaming, crying, it was horrifying,” said Thornton resident Mike Paul.
Emotional families embraced at DIA, after a night of horror in Las Vegas.
“We heard a couple ‘Pop, pop, pops.’ We thought it was fireworks,” Thaddeus Oliverius told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
Sunday night, Golden couple Lani Langton and Sarah Lake were among the 22,000 people watching a concert by country star Jason Aldean in Vegas, the finale to a three-day country music festival. When shots rained down from above, they were separated, as people fled the scene in panic.
“A lot of people were just..they were already shot and killed. You couldn’t help them you had to just get up and run,” Langton told Mustin.
In the brief seconds when the gunman reloaded from his Mandalay Bay Hotel room, Lani desperately tried to get away.
“As soon as you saw people get shot, you’d jump up and keep running, and jump and dart behind things, and there’s bloody people just everywhere. I just had a lot of other people’s blood over me, so people thought I was shot.”
Sara says as the bullets whizzed overhead, a complete stranger saved her life.
“He said ‘Get down, I’m going to cover you.’ He laid over me and he was very brave, And he was shot in the head. I was covered in his blood.”
When the shooting finally ended, Sara says she and other survivors came together amidst the carnage for a moment she’ll never forget.
“We prayed. The whole group sat there and said the Lord’s Prayer.”
After surviving the unthinkable in Vegas, Sara and Lani say they’ve never been more thankful to be back home in Colorado.
“I’m just very appreciative to be home, and to be alive today,” said Sara.
We know of at least three people from Colorado who were wounded in the shootings, including Detective Curtis Leoni of the Englewood Police Department. All are expected to be okay.