LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two Metro police officers share their stories on how the 1 October tragedy encouraged them to join the force.

Tony Sithong, a man who was supposed to be at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, became a Metro Police Officer five years later.

On the evening of Oct. 1, 2017, Tony Sithong was working as a bellman at the Aria.

“I was supposed to be at that concert but couldn’t get the day off. So, I mean, it could have been myself or a family member out there,” Sithong said. “Sirens going off, people running. A lot of people were scared. I just tried to help people get off the strip.”

Five years later, Sithong became an officer with Metro.

“It did cross my mind to join Metro, and then when it happened, it kind of, like, pushed me towards it as well. You know, I always wanted to help people. I always wanted to help the community in general,” he said.

He also says he appreciates how the Las Vegas community comes together every year since the festival to honor those who lost their lives and support the survivors by taking part in the Vegas Strong 5k.

“When we found out that there was a run or just something to, you know, remember 1 October, we signed up. We were like ‘all right, let’s do this.’ You know, text our other coworkers, text our friends, our family, ‘hey, this, this is going on, let’s get together and enjoy this and just be partners with the community.'” Sithong said.

His partner, Officer Nicole Terry, was also encouraged by 1 October to become an officer.

“I was pre-med originally. Then I went into business, and I saw Metro a lot in my fraud classes. And after [1 October] happened, it just kind of, like, became more to the forefront of my mind that maybe that might be the right career path for me,” Terry stated.

“This is my third year going through. I love running and so I love being really competitive. Like it kind of hurts me a little bit when I see the kids surpass me. It’s very hurtful. Like, they’re so fast, but I love competing with them. And I think it’s, like, it’s a great moment for us to come together as a community and recognize that something this tragic happened, but we can still go past it.” She continued.

She said she loves her career choice and the opportunity to be a part of the community coming together once again to reflect, honor, and heal, embracing life and what the run symbolizes.