Las Vegas sports figures share stories from mass shooting site

Updated October 7, 2017 - 4:13 pm

“The shots are still ringing in my ears …”

This was Thursday. The old ballplayer still sounded distraught.

It had been four days since those deadly shots rang out at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 and injuring almost 500. The old ballplayer was there; he and his friend had done what they could. A third buddy had escorted the wives to a safer place, if there was such a thing.

The old ballplayer did not want his name mentioned. So many did so much more, he said. Those first responders made him proud to be a Las Vegan. And there was survivor’s remorse. He said he had had a good, long life, had his cup of coffee in the bigs.

Why couldn’t it have been him?

The old ballplayer and his friend transported shooting victims to the hospital. One was in bad shape. An ambulance was flagged down and the transfer was made.

“We found out they didn’t make it.”

The old ballplayer and his friend returned to the chaotic scene at the concert ground. The next load was four or five victims that were taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. They headed back for more, but by then the roads were blocked by police and emergency vehicles.

Sleepless nights ensued.

The old ballplayer said he is seeking normalcy, but it is fleeting. He drives by Mandalay Bay on the way to work, which is haunting.

Jason Aldean, who was on stage when the deadly shots began to ring out, is the old ballplayer’s favorite artist.

Now he’s not sure if he’ll be able to listen to those songs again.

‘One deranged individual’

When he played football at UNLV, Joe Haro rushed for 226 yards against Wyoming and 131 against Arkansas and 104 against Northwestern. He was just the sixth Rebels running back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Joe Haro was always in the middle of the action on the football field.

At Sunday’s deadly Route 91 Harvest Festival, he was fortunate to be in the hospitality area and out of the direct line of fire, or as out of it as one could get.

“I remember it being a beautiful night with great friends,” said Haro, director of partnerships for the Hakkasan Group who was known as Jersey Joe when he played for the Rebels and still gets called that as president of UNLV’s Football Foundation.

“Unfortunately one deranged individual had to ruin the party. It will be forever something that the Las Vegas community will remember, and never forget the 58 brave souls that tragically lost their lives.”

Haro, 37 and still in playing shape, was able to leap over a fence and helped others scramble to safety. He recalls assisting one woman in particular.

“Her husband said she was pregnant,” Jersey Joe Haro said.

Star-crossed real estate

The Route 91 Harvest Festival concert ground has a sporting past. In addition to serving as a concert setting and staging area for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, it has been transformed into a temporary auto racing circuit and hosted several races in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series.

But who will want to go back there now?

Before the marathon in 2013, I recall interviewing Jim Ryun, the great track and field Olympian (and former U.S. Congressman) from Kansas, in a hospitality tent flanking Las Vegas Boulevard, in the area where country music fans were filmed fleeing the country music festival on a raw video after shots rang out the 32nd floor on Mandalay Bay.

There were metal detectors all over the place. It had been only seven months since the Boston Marathon bombing.

Here’s what I wrote the next day, after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives man had checked my laptop bag:

Did I feel safer? Not really. Although the square foot I was standing on was declared safe, there are 724,838,400 square feet in 26 square miles, plus the .2, and you can’t police every one of them when lunatics are running loose.

 

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Lady Rebels School Day Game
Children from local elementary schools gather for the Lady Rebel School Day Game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
All-Pro curling team eyes 2022 Winter Olympics
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like