This week marked the second anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. 58 people were murdered and hundreds more were injured while attending an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas.
Yaneliz Mercado is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno now, but she lived in Vegas two years ago when her mother, Maria, was working at the festival. They both survived that night, but it took hours for them to be reunited. Listen to Yaneliz share their story.
Maria lost her phone as she was trying to leave the festival grounds, leaving Yaneliz and her sisters unable to contact her for hours.
They later learned they would have to pick her up from the Thomas & Mack Center as RTC buses shuttled hundreds of people away from the site.
“Eventually, we just, like, we saw her and then we all just embraced in a huge hug. And then, once we did, like, my mom just started crying. She just started sobbing.”
Two years later, Yaneliz says her mom still deals with a sense of panic when in large crowds and gets headaches when she hears loud noises.
“The most thing that I’m, like, very grateful for is that she’s alive and that she’s still here with us, and, you know, it could have been worse[sic].”
This story was produced by Bethany Haspel, a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism, for the Reynolds Media Lab.