LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Sunday marks six years since the 1 October mass shooting, a tragedy that ultimately claimed 60 lives.
Ahead of that somber anniversary, runners woke up Saturday morning for a memorial 5K in Downtown Las Vegas.
Rosemarie Melanson was one of those sporting running gear as she walked the Vegas Strong 5K. She said that doctors told her six years ago she wasn’t going to live.
“When I was shot in the chest, I spent 13 months in the hospital. So, there’s a lot I had to overcome,” Melanson said.
Melanson was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman opened fire from a window at the Mandalay Bay on October 1, 2017.
“It took a lot of hope, prayers. A lot of everything from the doctors and nurses to heal and to get better, and so here I am, celebrating six years later,” Melanson said.
Celebrating alongside Melanson on Saturday morning were her daughters.
“I think it’s just so important that we take the time to celebrate our first responders and survivors, and then honor our 58 angels,” Paige Melanson said.
58 is the number of people who died that day, two others later died from their injuries.
Joey Virtuoso of the Clark County Fire Department brought his young kids to the race.
“I wanted to come out to this event to remind everyone that we’re here for the remembrance of everyone that died on this day,” Gianna Virtuoso, 9, said.
Virtuoso was attending a pre-season Vegas Golden Knights game during the shooting. His phone then started ringing off the hook.
His colleagues still talk about the tragedy of arriving to the scene.
“Listening to the stories, hearing all the experiences that happened, it’s absolutely traumatic. But I’ll tell you one thing, they are super strong,” Virtuoso said.
That strength was what pushed Melanson to walk across the start line on Saturday, joined by her family.
100% of the net proceeds from the Vegas Strong 5K will go to help victims of 1 October.