A Tehachapi woman has been identified as one of the victims shot Sunday on the Las Vegas Strip in what is being called the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
Rachel Sheppard was with two friends at a country music concert near the Mandalay Bay hotel when a gunman fired on the crowd, killing 58 and injuring more than 500, including Sheppard.
A friend of Sheppard's, Cliff Suazo, owner of the Doghouse Saloon and Savannah's Old Town Saloon, was in Las Vegas at a separate hotel at the time of the shooting. He spoke with Sheppard's father around 11:30 a.m. Monday concerning her condition.
According to her Suazo, Sheppard's father said she was shot three times and was on her way to surgery Monday. Suazo said he was told that Sheppard was coherent, but confused, and was able to move her toes.
Suazo said he was at the Harris Hotel in Las Vegas on vacation at the time the mass shooting took place, and was forced to evacuate the hotel moments later after guests were told there was a bomb threat made on his hotel as well as others.
"Everything came to a complete stop, and it was pure mayhem," Suazo said.
After leaving his hotel, Suazo said, he witnessed the crowds of running people trying to escape the gunman's fire.
Said Suazo, "I've never seen so many scared people in my whole life. The older people were running, too, and crying. I made sure people got rides to back to their hotels. I couldn't just let them walk out."
Suazo said he left Las Vegas Monday morning and returned home to Tehachapi.
Said Suazo, "My heart is just broken. I seen her (Sheppard) last week. She is a good girl."
Sheppard's father and son were reportedly on their way to Las Vegas to join Sheppard's mother, who is already at her daughter's side.
There are unconfirmed reports that three other girls, all from Tehachapi, who had also attended the concert unrelated to Sheppard and her party, have not yet been located after failing to check in to authorities following the shooting.
Sheppard's two friends were reportedly unharmed.
Sheppard has worked at Don Perico's for four years, said manager Daisy Guevara.
"I called her best friend, Sarina West, this morning, and she said that Rachel is in critical condition," said Guevara.
Guevara said she would be speaking to the owner later in the afternoon about hosting a fundraiser for Sheppard and her family.
Suazo will also host a fundraising barbecue Saturday around noon at the Doghouse Saloon. In addition, he said he will be accepting monetary donations on behalf of the family, and will be setting out tip jars for Sheppard at both of his restaurant locations starting Friday.
"It will be a long time before I go back to Vegas," said Suazo, adding, "I will probably never go back. Words cannot describe the chaos and the horror I saw yesterday."