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 or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like