ABC11 reporter: I had family present at the mass shooting in Las Vegas

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This is a personal account from ABC11 reporter Gloria Rodriguez, who had family present at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the deadliest attack in the United States occurred. (WTVD)

This is a personal account from ABC11 reporter Gloria Rodriguez, who had family present at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival when the deadliest attack in the United States occurred.

From the moment I walked into the Raleigh Eyewitness News Center for my 3:30 am shift, the horrifying images of the Las Vegas mass shooting played over and over again on the television screens.

Little did I know, one of my family members was in the crowd, running for his life.

My brother, Raul, texted me late in the morning saying that our second cousin was towards the front of the stage with his girlfriend at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival when Jason Aldean performed.

I quickly called my cousin, Johnathan Aguilar, and found out that he and his girlfriend, Jasmine Ruiz, were back at home in Southern California and were alright.

But their weekend ended so differently than it began.

Johnathan sent me cell phone video they took as they watched Jake Owen right before Aldean took the stage.

They were laughing, swaying to the country music, and singing along.

You can see Mandalay Bay in the video, next to the stage. Little did they know, that's where a man would set up and fire on the crowd.

READ MORE: 58 dead, more than 515 injured in Las Vegas concert attack

At first, Johnathan and Jasmine thought they heard fireworks.

"No one knew what was going on," Johnathan said. "It was really scary. It was really terrifying. I looked to my right and I see the crowd just start to scatter, so then we just heard repetitive over and over again, more gunshots, so we knew it was gunshots, so we started running."

They ran and ran, jumping fences, their adrenaline kicking in. He said they eventually found the Desert Rose Resort. They crowded into a room with about 30 other people, hiding in silence and in the dark, scared one or more shooters might still be on the loose.

He said an off-duty police officer from Pennsylvania happened to be there with them and helped them feel safe.

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They monitored the news on their phones and eventually left at about 4:30 in the morning, when they knew they were no longer in danger.

The cop even walked them back to their hotel.

Johnathan said he still remembers the look on Aldean's face.

"After I saw people running, for some reason I took a glance at the stage," Johnathan said. "I just saw (Aldean) kind of duck down. I saw panic in his face while he ran off."

Johnathan said he's saddened about those who were injured and those who didn't survive.

"Just hearing it was the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history ... it was just crazy that we were there," he said. "We're so blessed that we're safe. We're praying for anybody who was there, and anyone who got injured. It's a blessing to be okay and we're just trying to keep everybody in our prayers."

My hometown of Palm Springs, California, is about a four-hour drive from Las Vegas.

Numerous Facebook friends posted that they were at the concert and miraculously survived.

But that's not the case for more than 50 people who died and more than 500 who were injured. Let's keep them and their families in our prayers.

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las vegas mass shootingmurderRaleigh
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