Omaha couple recounts story of survival during Las Vegas shooting

Posted at 7:54 PM, Oct 04, 2017

A special trip to a country music festival turned into horror and an absolute nightmare as an Omaha couple ended up in the middle of the shooting. They went from enjoying the show to fearing for their lives in just seconds.

Now they are home but still shaken by the experience.

Melissa Centamore says she was standing by speakers near the front stage and had just finished recording a Jason Aldean song on her phone when she heard what sounded like fireworks. 

"It was unimaginable. It was like a movie - a horror movie," said Centamore.

What was supposed to be a night of dancing and live music - "It was a good vibe. Everybody was having fun. It just seemed like a normal concert." Quickly became an unforgettable nightmare for Melissa Centamore, her husband Anthony, and the thousands of other country music lovers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

"Jason Aldean was singing a song. And he was getting ready for the next song and we heard this popping noise. It kind of sounded like fireworks," said Centamore. "Then we heard it again and all of a sudden everybody started running towards me. And they were screaming there's a shooter. There's a shooter."

Bullets began raining down from the 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting concert goers. 

"It felt like I was running in slow motion and people all around me were falling to the ground," said Centamore.

Melissa was separated from her husband Anthony who was in the restroom. In the chaos, she took shelter under a table near a bar area. 

"One of the girls that was trying to get under the table got shot. And people just kept screaming get down," said Centamore. "I looked down at my phone because I was trying to call my husband. And he was calling and said 'where are you.' I said I'm under a table. He said - 'are you ok' and I said yes, and I said 'stay where you are' because he can't run. The table just kept slamming, going up and down, because people were jumping over it and trying to fit as many people under it as possible."

The gunfire seeming to come from all directions without pause. 

"So, when I heard the shots go on this side I was like, I'm going to try to run this way because I thought this is my chance to get out. My husband was on the phone and I said 'I'm going to run now. I'm going to run now,'" said Centamore.

Then came the moment Centamore knew to make another run for it. 

"I just thought if I didn't get out of there because of the lady that had just gotten shot by me. That I wasn't going to make it. So i just said, I'm going to run now. I was just praying I would make it through. People were getting shot in their back. You had to jump over people that were on the ground," said Centamore. "There were cops and ambulances going by. People were in the back of vehicles putting people that were hurt, following ambulances with people in the back of it. People just laying all over the ground covered in blood."

Melissa was able to make it to safety and reunite with her husband. The couple left Las Vegas early and drove back to Omaha, arriving Tuesday night.

Shaken but unhurt, Centamore says it's a blessing she's home to hug each one of her children tight.

"Everytime, make sure you leave your house or your home that you tell your family that you love them because you never know if you're going to see them again."

A Go-fund me page has been set up by Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas Steve Sisolak. The funds will provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting?. You can donate here

You can also donate blood through the American Red Cross by going here