Dozens of Central Coast residents are survivors of the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre and while the physical wounds of the attack have mostly healed, the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday ripped open the emotional scars.
“My heart just aches for those people because I know exactly how they’re feeling at this moment,” said Paso Robles resident Carli Richardson-Goss.
When Richardson-Goss woke up Thursday to the news that more than a dozen were dead in a shooting at a bar just hours away, her mind returned to the night of Oct. 1, 2017, when she was fired upon at a country music concert in Las Vegas.
“It instantly just gave me the worst anxiety because it brought back every feeling, every emotion, every flashback, every vision I saw,” Richardson-Goss said.
Richardson-Goss, who was pregnant during the shooting, made it out alive with her husband and unborn baby, but her life will never be the same.
“Everywhere we go, we’re thinking of our next escape route,” Richardson-Goss said. “If something were to happen, where are we gonna go? You hear loud noises and it freaks you out.”
A similar thought is now on the mind of Lorraine McIntire, a Carpenteria resident whose neighbor and close friend, Denise Cohen, died in the Las Vegas shooting.
“She was just such a joy to be around,” McIntire said of her friend. “She lit up the room with her smile and positive attitude.”
McIntire herself has danced at the Borderline Bar & Grill, which came under attack Wednesday. She’s taken too many Wednesday night swing lessons to count and said she easily could’ve been at the bar when the shooting took place.
Now, with yet another mass shooting tiptoeing around her life, McIntire said she’s taking her safety into her own hands.
“I’m going to buy myself a gun, learn how to shoot it and carry it with me at all times,” McIntire said.