Duluth man recalls aftermath of Las Vegas mass shooting - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Duluth man recalls aftermath of Las Vegas mass shooting

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A Duluth man who was in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting and witnessed the aftermath is now back in the Twin Ports. 

Vinnie Surges was on vacation with his brother when the shooting happened.

Surges says, "All of a sudden, we a saw a lady come running in through the front door area and she just started screaming and we had no idea at the time, what was going on."

Surges left Duluth for Las Vegas looking for a good time with his brother.  He returned as a witness to the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in Modern U.S. history.  He says, "There are no words to describe that. You can't plan for it."

Surges and his brother had heard chatter from a crowd that there was an active shooter less than a mile down the Vegas strip. "Was it just someone who fired a gun in the air? Was there actually someone who was injured? We had no idea at that time."

Fearing for their safety the brothers decided to leave the casino. As they began walking back to their hotel, the reality of the situation set in.

"It wasn't just a few police officers in the area it was, it seemed like every single police officer in Vegas was kind of converging on this specific area on the southern part of the strip," Surges recalls. 

Surges says, each side of the Vegas strip had a different mood, "it felt like a tale of two cities. On the northern part of the strip, no one really knew what was going on and so as a result, everyone was really at peace. Everyone was carrying on their night as they would any other night. On my left side which is the southern part of the strip, that's where all the chaos was unfolding."

Surges says he and his brother are fortunate as they were originally supposed to end their night at Mandalay Bay, the hotel where the shooter was. 

"I feel very lucky to be here and maybe not be as traumatized as a lot of the other people who were right there when everything unfolded."

Surges says now, he holds his loved ones a little tighter. "If anything, what it does to me is it makes me always want to hug my loved ones. It makes me always want to always tell everyone how much I really do care for them."

Surges claims he would return to Vegas one day saying if you live in fear, the shooter wins. 

He says he is coping with what he witnessed and that he feels lucky because others saw and experienced much worse than him. 

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