Cincinnati natives recount horrific scene after surviving deadly shooting in Las Vegas

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Two women who were raised in the Cincinnati area are recounting the disturbing and devastating things they witnessed after they survived the deadly shooting in Las Vegas.

Vanessa Diemert and Lisa Wendt are sisters who both grew up in Loveland. Wendt still lives in Loveland, but Diemert now lives in California with her husband.

The three of them attended the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas over the weekend. They have attended several years in a row and have always had a good time. However, this year, the sisters said the powerful events that unfolded right in front of their eyes almost feels like too much to bear. 

"It still feels like it's not real," Wendt told FOX19 NOW via FaceTime.

Wendt and Diemert vividly remember how quickly things took a turn at the concert. They said people went from dancing to the music to collapsing to the ground.

The women said they heard what at first sounded like firecrackers. Only minutes later, they saw a group of men approaching. The men were shouting that there was gunfire and were telling people to run.

"There were people that we saw that were paralyzed by fear. They couldn't move," Diemert said on the FaceTime app. "We were just laying on top of each other. My husband was with us. At that point, we were just trying to figure out, what do we do."

In a matter of seconds, bullets were flying through the air, and concert-goers were ducking for cover. The women said that someone they didn't know offered a helping hand and instructed them to follow him to safety.

"We were holding each other's hands, and the gunshots, at that point, that round had stopped, and we knew this is our time. We need to get out of here," Wendt said.

Using bleachers as barriers, they made their escape in between gunshots. They eventually got out unharmed.

"Unfortunately, along the way, we saw some people who had not made it," Diemert said. "There were shoes everywhere and clothing, just a terrible sight."

Even after they got out of the venue, the sisters said that the chaos continued with dozens of people screaming, hiding and searching for answers.

The two said despite how terrible the tragedy was, they were stunned by the overwhelming compassion that was shared among strangers while everything was going on.

"You had so many people that were running towards it [gunfire], wanting to help, trying to find people who were injured to help them get away," Diemert said.

Diemert and Wendt said they are currently spending time with family. They are trying to figure out how to cope and how to move forward from something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

"Just being thankful and grateful that we did make it out because there's so many who didn't," Diemert said.

Both of the women said they are looking for ways to help the victims and their families.

Wendt plans to return to Cincinnati soon.

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