PATRICK COUNTY, Va. -- Exactly one year ago, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing 58 people. Among the panicked crowd was Melissa Wall, a Patrick County woman, who says she remembers it like it was yesterday.
“I really thought that I was going to die,” Wall said. “I thought, 'This is it. I'm not going to be here.'”
Wall held back tears as she remembered the mass shooting that took place during the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Wall said that while she ran for her life, she was most worried about her two little girls back home.
“There is so much I want to show them and I want to teach them,” Wall said. “The thought of not being able to do that is probably the hardest moment I've ever had in my life.”
Wall says the experience has changed her. She gets nervous when she hears fireworks or someone shouts at the mall. She always looks for exits when walking into a building. She also starts to get emotional when she hears some of her favorite country artists on the radio.
The shooting did, however, make at least one positive impact on her life.
“My goal is to live to the fullest and do everything I want to do now because we are not guaranteed tomorrow,” Wall said.
Wall says her new perspective on life has also made her an even better mother.
“As a parent you're always trying to do this and that, like, 'I'll do that in a minute' or 'Go play with your sister,'” Wall said. “Now, I truly put it down. I truly put down what I'm doing and I go engage in that moment.”
Wall did give Las Vegas a second chance after her aunt won VIP tickets to another music festival. She was able to meet Jason Aldean, the country singer who was on stage when the shots rang out.