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Utahn remembers surviving Vegas shooting, hopes to help Texas and Ohio survivors

Posted at 9:23 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 08:13:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Every time Amy Beckstead sees videos of mass shootings like in Texas and Ohio, she thinks about the day she survived the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.

The feeling was hopeless, she said, not knowing for hours if she was going to live or die.

“Just expecting at any point to be shot,” she said.

Considered the deadliest mass shooting in the United States, the attack killed 58 people and wounded 851.

Beckstead is still healing.

“Once you go through something like that, it never goes away,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where you’re going — for me, it’s just always in the back of my mind.”

Watching two mass shootings within 24 hours of each other brings an overwhelming sadness and heartbreak. Beckstead said she tries to learn the names of the victims and their family backgrounds, bonding with an uncommon group of survivors.

“You shared this similar experience, so that unites you,” she said.

It’s hard for her to watch news coverage, she still sometimes feels fear, and sometimes struggles to put into words what she is feeling.

“I’ve been determined to not let it change my life,” said Beckstead.

Being "Vegas Strong" — a phrase coined by survivors and supporters after the 2017 shooting — and reaching out to survivors to become strong together, Beckstead said each person heals differently but hopes they know they are never alone.

“Our hearts feel for those people who are going through what we went through,” she said.