Cherokee resident safe in Las Vegas
A Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino employee is counting his blessings after the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history occurred in Las Vegas, where he was participating in a training for work.
Barton Cartwright had just ordered an Uber when he stepped out of the MGM Casino to hundreds, if not thousands of people running in many directions.
“People [were] covered in blood, other people’s blood, their own blood,” said Cartwright. “So, as a natural reaction, I started running with them because, obviously, there was a reason they all were running.”
Cartwright assumed there was a shooting, only he didn’t know where the shots were being fired. He ran back into the casino, into a bathroom and then a storage closet.
“When I was sitting there, it was like time was standing still. We were sitting there waiting to hear gunshots. Just waiting for him to come into the bathroom.”
Cartwright recalls being next to strangers as time stood still. He recalls thinking, this isn’t how his story was supposed to end.
“The woman next to me, she was crying but trying to be quiet, said Cartwright. “Seconds turned into hours, and, honestly, sitting there I started thinking about, am I actually going to die? I didn’t even talk to my mom today.”
Cartwright, an assistant manager of casino services is in Vegas for week-long training on business process improvement. But it was the active shooter training he recently completed Cartwright was thinking of Sunday night.
“I quickly told everyone to make sure their phones were on silent, be quiet, calm down and we locked the doors. As much as possible, we were looking for things we could use as weapons,” said Cartwright.
He was able to get back to his hotel after one of the strangers he was hiding with ran out to talk to an officer. Calming down and falling asleep took several hours.
“I actually started praying, to be honest with you. And thank God I made it out of there,” said Cartwright. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life. It’s pretty horrible.”