On October 1, a gunman opened fire on the more than 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500 others. It is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The gunman, 64 year old Stephen Paddock, was positioned on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino where he sent shots into the crowd from the window of the suite he had checked into several days earlier.
Southmoreland graduate Sheri Adobato currently resides in Las Vegas; however she was back in Scottdale visiting family at the time of the shooting.
“I had just come home to visit family.” said Adobato. “I was really surprised when I heard the news.”
Adobato moved to Vegas about six months ago with the intentions of exploring “something out of my comfort zone.”
“I moved just to experience something other than Scottdale,” said Adobato. “I wanted to see the diversity of Vegas. I’m sort of in the minority here.”
News of the event came as a “wake up” call to Adobato, although it has not changed her opinion on living in Vegas.
“It made me more aware that there are crazy people everywhere,” said Adobato. “People come to Vegas to have fun, so an incident in a place like this is enlightening.”
Even more of a surprise upon hearing word of the shooting was that Adobato was at the music festival where it took place just the Friday before.
“I truly believe she had a guardian angel looking out for her” said Adobato’s mother, Sonya. “When I saw it on the news, my husband had to remind me that Sheri was in Scottdale safe with us because the fact that she was at the location so recently was a shock.”
Adobato is now back in Las Vegas where she was happy to find that none of her friends were personally affected by the shooting; however, the attack has reinforced her feelings on gun control in the United States because without access to weaponry, it would not have taken place.
“The festival was just a lot of young people having a good time, so I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to hurt them,” said Adobato. “It was traumatizing for my friends who witnessed the horrible bloody event. Something like that happening reiterates my negative feelings toward guns.”