TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - One of 13abc's own was in Vegas during the worst gun massacre in modern American history. Carrie Franzen is the General Sales Manager at the station. She was on the strip when the chaos erupted.
Carrie was in Las Vegas to celebrate a friend's birthday. Carrie, her husband and some of their friends were on the strip Sunday night when the first shots were fired. She says what followed was terror, uncertainty and utter chaos
The immense tragedy that unfolded is still sinking in for Carrie, "It's unbelievable. Did that really happen, were we really there? We were not affected like so many others, but it still sits with you. We watched about 12 cop cars go racing down the strip and you kept hearing this sound start and stop then start and stop."
At first, Carrie says she thought the sounds were coming from something you often hear on the strip, "Honestly it sounded just like a helicopter when it is starting up or stopping. I would never have thought it was a gun, Those gun sounds we heard aren't normal."
Carrie soon realized it was gunfire, and ran back to the hotel where they were staying,the MGM Grand, "We all sat in the room with the blinds closed and lights off. We had the TV on, but we had towels under the door because we didn't know if someone was going to come up the stairwell. That was the worst part, all the uncertainty."
That uncertainty went on for hours, and initially there were reports of multiple gunmen, "Once we heard they caught the shooter it gave us some sense of comfort, but my husband and a couple of the others were listening to the scanners on their phones and they were saying there could be 30 active shooters on the strip. All of us sat in that room for several hours just not knowing. They told us it was over, but we didn't really know for quite awhile if it was truly over."
Carrie and her friends left Vegas Monday morning. While people weren't saying much at the hotel or the airport, Carrie says the shock and pain were palpable, "You think to yourself, I was one of the lucky ones. I really was a lucky one. My heart goes out to all the people and their families who weren't as fortunate."
Carrie is going back to Las Vegas for work in the next few weeks. She says while that day continues to haunt her, she won't live her life in fear and as always she will pay close attention to her surroundings.