A man from Raleigh, North Carolina has experienced first-hand two tragic events in American history. But Mike Dempsey also survived both of them.
Back on Sept. 11, 2011, Dempsey was inside Tower 2 of the World Trade Center in New York City when a plane crashed into the building on the floors above him, Fox News reported.
During the escape, he was trampled by other people who were desperately trying to flee the building, but luckily he got himself to safety.
“I was under the point of impact when the second plane hit Tower 2,” he told ABC11.
But more recently on Oct. 1, Dempsey was at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire at the outdoor crowd.
He frequently visits Vegas, and was celebrating with friends at Mandalay Bay, where he always stays, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Dempsey said the trauma of the Vegas massacre where Paddock killed 58 and injured nearly 500 more will stay with him for awhile, just like it did 16 years ago in New York.
“I’ll be looking twice at everyone, because who knows? That guy could have been eating lunch next to me,” Dempsey recently told the Raleigh News & Observer. “Loud sounds will probably bother me; things are going to change. But I’m trying to get back to normal as much as possible.”
But the 46-year-old father of two daughters said there could be a reason he survived the two horrible days in history.
“Maybe God has a plan for me, and I can help,” Dempsey told the Raleigh News & Observer. “Instead of being angry or upset, I’m going to try to find what the families and survivors are going to need.”
Dempsey described the chaos of the recent mass shooting to ABC11.
“I was literally under where the shooter was firing his rounds,” Dempsey said. “It’s your wildest imagination so it kind of invades your security.”
He said he ran for cover inside the hotel’s casino.
Dempsey said being a part of the two experiences was something unimaginable to him.
“One thing you don’t envision is scenarios like a plane hitting the World Trade Center,” Dempsey told ABC11. “You don’t envision a shooter firing bullets onto a crowd.”
The father said he had been getting involved in charity work to help him deal with any 9/11-related trauma and hopes to do the same after his Vegas experience, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.