Just a teen hanging out at a country show with friends sounds like the perfect day. Things started out like that for 18-year-old Jaelyn Duran, her sister Sarah Duran, along with her sister’s boyfriend Billy until the horrific nightmare began.
It was a spontaneous trip to the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, that ended with Jaelyn fighting for her life. It was a sold out festival, but last minute the trio secured tickets to see the man, Jason Aldean on Sunday!
“It was a really, really good day,” Jaelyn told ABC News explaining that she took off from her waitress job early Sunday so she could make it to the concert.
At the festival, which was the first time the sisters went to a concert together, they listened to some acts, danced along, and then pushed their way through the crowd to get as close to the stage as possible for Jason Aldean, Jaelyn’s sisters favorite. That’s when the magical night turned tragic when gunshots echoed across the Vegas Strip. Like many who were there, Jaelyn had no idea what was happening. At 18, she had never even heard real gunshots before. When Jason Aldean darted from the stage, Jaelyn’s began to fear for her own life. “When he ran off, everyone kind of panicked,” the teen said. It was then everybody began to realize that they were the target of a shooting.
Jaeyln was just standing there confused when she noticed a woman she recognized from earlier in the night. The two had been singing along together to Jason. However now this woman was lying on the ground and bleeding from a wound on her back. “I’m only 18, I shouldn’t be seeing stuff like that,” Jaelyn said. Sarah grabbed her sister and along with Billy ran away from the stage. After hopping over the fence to find some shelter, Jaelyn landed in a pool of blood. Her concert cowboy boots now stained blood red. In that moment the young teen realized the “gravity” of this horrific situation.
“I was hysterical. I was crying.” Jaelyn recalls to ABC News as the sound of bullets came ricocheting off the fence directly behind her. The trio took off again running with the crowd and jumping over a second fence. By this time, her knees and legs cut and covered in dirt and blood. Eventually, they found a garbage receptacle and they hid inside. Even though she could barely talk, Jaelyn managed to call her dad to let him know that she was ok. The three eventually found safety when they spotted an open gate near McCarran International Airport and made their way over with other concertgoers. Two of the people they were with had bullet wounds, Jaelyn said. The group was eventually taken to the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Billy’s mom picked them up.
“I finally felt safe.” The teen added, “You always think this will never happen to you.”