Restaurant became safe haven for those fleeing shooting rampage

Local News

Oct. 1, 2017 had a far reaching and profound effect on many in the valley, including one restaurant worker who was just starting his shift that night.

Some of the people running for their lives the shooting massacre ended up at a Coco’s restaurant on Tropicana Avenue seeking shelter.

“It was hard. People were calling their moms and their dads and everywhere you looked there was people under tables,” said Samantha Brumley, server.

Just days after a gunman opened fire from Mandalay Bay at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival.

“My heart just hurts,” Brumley said.

Brumley, a Coco’s server, described the scene as people sought refuge inside the restaurant. Surveillance video shows the minutes after the massacre as people rush in and duck for cover and employees help them.

“This is a note that they sent my boss Jose here,” said Jonathan Ramirez, assistant manager.

Turns out several off-duty police officers from the Los Angeles School District were here, too and later recognized assistant manager Jonathan Ramirez and his co-workers for their help that night.

“I’m very thankful that they were able to provide a lot of help and support in a time of need,” said Jonathan Ramirez, assistant manager.

One year later, customers ask about the plaque.

“When they ask me about it, I’ll be like, yeah I was here. That’s pretty much all I’ll say cause I try not to talk about it. I don’t know, it’s still tough to me, it’s still tough to me,” he said.

But when Jonathan sat down with 8 News NOW, he said more.

“Just the thought really. All those people. Sorry. All the deaths you know. I guess, it’s like the first time I’ve actually cried about it,” he said.

Ramirez remembers a woman who came in with a gunshot wound and waited for first responders.

“She was pretty much the first one to come in here with an injury and she stayed up until, she stayed here until around 4:30 when they arrived, Ramirez said.

The woman waited for hours with a gunshot wound in her leg as Ramirez and others kept everyone calm.

“I tried my best, yes,” he said.

Jonathan says sometimes it is tough to come to work. It’s a trigger for memories. But the message, VegasStronger, is helping.

“I feel like the community is more at one now,” he said.

On Oct. 1, 2017, Jonathan was just getting ready to start the graveyard shift, now he shares a bond –  albeit – an emotional and painful one – with those lives he touched.

“I pray, i prayed that night,” he said.

“Jonathan says one year later, he hasn’t seen any of those people he helped, but he wishes them peace.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories