Whitefish Bay man escapes Las Vegas mass shooting unscathed

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 02, 2017

A Whitefish Bay man and his wife escaped the mass shooting in Las Vegas unscathed.

Eric Gottlieb was in Las Vegas to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. He's an avid country music fan so the group chose the festival as a way to cap off a great weekend in Las Vegas. He was enjoying Jason Aldean's set when he heard the first shots. 

"Jason Aldean was on the stage and looked up to his left," Gottlieb said. "He kept playing and then, right after that, you heard a long round of them. At that point, you knew what was going on. You just immediately knew. We said, let's get the hell out of here right now."

Gottlieb and his four other friends got separated but he stuck with his wife; determined to protect her at all costs. 

"There was periodic shooting," Gottlieb said. "When it was going off and when it wasn't, we would run when it wasn't. Every time we'd run when it wasn't and when we heard it, I would jump on my wife and get on the ground until it was done. Just to protect her. That's it. There was no where else to go, nothing else to do. It was all I could think to do."

The strategy saved Gottlieb and his wife. They made it to the other side of a brick wall and hunkered down until the shooting ended. 

"Thankful, very thankful," Gottlieb said. "We saw several people shot. The guy sitting next to us was shot in the abdomen and arm. He had a tourniquet on his arm and applying pressure to his abdomen. They sent us to the lower level of the Tropicana. There were tons of people in there. I saw probably 10 to 15 people shot. There were traces of blood and puddles of blood everywhere in there. It was chaos."

He met up with his four friends and all of them were safe and unhurt. They discussed what they experienced. 

"I can't understand how it was one gun because there were so many shots and it seemed like they were going at the same time," Gottlieb said. "Hundreds, maybe thousands of shots. You'd hear long times where it would be continuous shooting."

But with 59 dead as of Monday evening, he knows his story isn't what's important. 

"Obviously, it's a traumatic situation," Gottlieb said. "We're the lucky ones. I feel more for the people who didn't make it out there. Think about those people. Those are the ones who have it a lot rougher than we do now."