A woman who survived the worst mass murder in American history has now dedicated her career to helping others in emergency situations.
Oregon resident Lauren Card, 23, was in Las Vegas the day gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands of people attending a Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017.
Fifty-nine people were killed and several hundred injured, but somehow, Card made it out alive, The Associated Press reported.
Last month, Card was sworn in as an officer of the Springfield Police Department. She noted that her experience during the unthinkable tragedy inspired her to take the oath to protect and serve.
Card, who was attending the concert with her mother and boyfriend, remembers running through the festival grounds among a panicked crowd as Paddock unleashed a barrage of bullets from his hotel room 32 stories above at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
After minutes of chaos, it was the sight of the police officers and other first responders that finally brought a sense of relief, Card said.
“And in that moment, I kind of had a sense that, ‘OK, the police are here. They are going to fix it. They are going to make it better. Everything is going to be OK,” she told the AP.
Card returned to classes at Oregon State University just two days after the shooting, eager to have her normal life back while attempting to process the shock.
Card’s mother, Robin Baird, praised her daughter for transforming that near-death experience into something good. Baird knows her hard-working daughter will be successful, she said.
“I am very proud of her for becoming an officer and wanting to serve the community, especially after Route 91,” Baird told the AP.
Springfield Police Officer Lauren Card poses for a picture, in Springfield, Oregon. Card was sworn in as an officer 10 months after surviving the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017. The incident inspired her to make the career decision to go into law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/V8dzC7V5s8
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 25, 2018
Lt. Scott McKee, who is on the department’s committee, said one of the questions that Card was asked was how she would respond if she found herself in a similar mass shooting situation.
“Depending on the person, that could be traumatic for a long time and that could trigger post-traumatic stress,” McKee said.
But, Card said that her past experience combined with police training will help her, especially since she already “knows what it’s like to be shot at,” adding that she thought it to be a “compelling” answer.
Further, in a stunning display of resilience, the recent college graduate did not stop attending concerts and music festival after the shooting.
“That’s just what I love to do,” she said. “And I didn’t want him to be able to take that from me.”
(H/T: The Associated Press)