Avondale woman witnessed mass shooting horror, as she sold merchandise at the festival grounds

The Las Vegas festival grounds where the mass shooting took place on Sunday was packed with country music lovers. Among them was a Valley woman who was selling cowboy boots from a tent.

That same tent later became a shelter for people, when the bullets started flying. Fortunately for them, the woman who was selling the boots is also a former trauma nurse.

The woman, who is from Avondale, left for Las Vegas last week, prepared to sell 300 American-made cowboy boots. Instead, Susan Choules' booth became a shelter for people trying to escape gunfire.

"I heard this explosion, it sounded like to me, because I said, 'what is that noise?'" said Choules.

Choules, a former reserve police officer, heard the shots, then saw a stampede of people, as they begin to run.

"people started pouring into the booth. and I told them, 'if you're going to be in my booth, you hit the floor,'" Choules recounted. "Most of them did, and I told them to stay until we get an all-clear."

Choules said it got quiet for 30 seconds. During that time, people left her tent to take off running, even though she advised them not to.

"I begged them to stay. They wouldn't listen to me, and they ran out," said Choules. "The next thing I heard was rat-tat-tat-tat-tat, and I said, 'my god'. I told them to stay."

More people shortly arrived in her booth, and Choules gave commands to stay on the ground. After about 10 minutes, a security guard came by.

"He said, 'I want you people out of here now'," Choules recounted. "The police want this place evacuated, and I said, 'I think we are in the safest place,' and he said 'no, someone in the booth next to you was shot'."

Choules didn't know it at the time, but the shooting was over. When she went to the street, it was covered with injured people, and Choules continued to help.

"I'm an old trauma nurse, so you triage, go to someone shot, keep going to the worst person," said Choules.

Choules said the whole thing was like a nightmare. As she reflects back to that night, one thing pops into mind.

"My admiration, the ultimate admiration goes to the military guys that ran into the place, didn't think a second about their life and safety, and the off-duty responders that were there."

As for right now, Choules says her cell phone and roughly 45,000 dollars worth of merchandise remains at the scene. She was not able to get anything before she left Las Vegas, and doesn't know if ,or when, she will get it back.

Choules, however, is happy to be home.

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