August 5, 2019
Fox 5 KVVU-TV
1 October survivors were at the Healing Garden on Sunday seeking peace after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5)-- 1 October survivors were at the Healing Garden on Sunday seeking peace after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
One survivor we spoke with is still healing after 1 October and shares her heartache.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Stacie Armentrout. “I don't want anybody else to be in this group. I don't want to be in this group.”
The group is the group of survivors and families affected in mass shootings. And it’s growing.
“I can't seem to get my head wrapped around it,” said Armentrout. “It's unbelievable. Never could have imagined so many this quick.”
Back-to-back shootings, first in El Paso, Texas during a busy back to school shopping weekend.
“I look at Walmart, all those kids that were there, I can relate to those parents,” said Armentrout. “Our kids were with us at Route 91.”
Then, a second mass shooting happened at a popular entertainment spot in Dayton, Ohio.
“We know what they're going through. You see it on the news, you see the look on their faces, and you know what that look is because you've had that look,”said Armentrout.
For Armentrout some days are better than others. The past couple of days have been the worst in a long time.
“Just as you kind of get comfortable again and branch out to do those things, something else happens,”said Armentrout. “Then we don't want to go anywhere, just stay at home where we feel safe.”
One place she does feel safe is the Healing Garden.
“We’ve been through a lot, we’ve accomplished a lot, we’ve moved forward a lot,” said Armentrout. “We’ve moved backwards a lot. So it’s a great place to reflect and meditate.”
Armentrout said she’s not done healing. She never will be.
“Spread some love and kindness,”said Armentrout. “All we can do is set the example of being kind to one another. It helps us heal. And it shows the light will shine at the end of the day, you have to keep pushing that.”
She wants other survivors and families from El Paso to Dayton to Gilroy to know they are never alone.
“We’re with you, we standing with you,” said Armentrout. “We're here if you need a shoulder. We've been down that road, we know what's coming in the next 24 hours, six months, the next year. We’re still going through it, bear with us. But we're here for you.”
Anyone feeling affected by the two mass shootings can call the disaster distress helpline. The number is: 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
“Survivors of Route 91 are having a tough time, they’ve been taken back to what happened,” said director of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center Tennille Pereira. “Obviously they feel deeply for those who are going through their own tragedy.
The resiliency center has set up different therapy and counseling sessions. Pereira said they are also reaching out to the communities to offer their support.
“We are here for them absolutely,” said Pereira. “It would be a tragedy if we didn’t share the strength and resilience that we have gotten from this. We will absolutely be reaching out to them and sharing what we learned to help.”
After 1 October, Las Vegas received letters from around the country.
Now a 1 October survivor is spearheading an effort to show support for Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton.
The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is collecting letters to send to all three communities.
Anyone interested should address letters to survivors, victims or first responders. Letters can be dropped off or mailed to the Resiliency Center.