Markie Coffer was nine months pregnant and overdue by a week when she attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Vegas on Sunday last week.
“We decided: ‘Oh we’ll go. Maybe it will help [my baby] come out and we were just there having fun,” Coffer told Fox 5.
The couple attended the first two days of the festival on Friday and Saturday as well, and even brought their other children on Saturday, Sept. 30.
“They had a blast,” Coffer said.
Coffer and her boyfriend Travis Matheson were looking forward to hearing the headliner, Jason Aldean, play. But Aldean’s set was cut short by gunshots in what would become the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Matheson served in the Army, so his military instincts kicked in right away.
“I told her, ‘We got to get to safety and find somewhere to hide,” Matheson said.
Coffer, Matheson, and his brother Cody Matheson got down on the ground and crawled military-style across the field as bullets zipped past them. Cody Matheson was shot in the shoulder, but all three, including the unborn baby, escaped the gunfire.
“One of my brother’s friends picked us up and brought us straight [to the hospital],” Coffer said. “It was chaotic down there.”
Two days later, Coffer gave birth to a healthy baby boy and his name is most appropriate.
“He’s been unique since the beginning,” Coffer said.
“[He is] a light at the end of the tunnel,” Matheson said.
The couple named the boy Wyatt. That name comes from the Medieval English name Wyot, which in turn comes from the Old English name Wigheard, composed of the elements wig which means “battle” and heard which means “brave” and “hardy”.
One could say that the boy was definitely “hardy” to survive the “battle”-like massacre in Las Vegas that night, so the name seems most appropriate.
“I’m thankful nothing happened worse to any one of us … and we couldn’t be here for him,” Coffer said. “It was perfect timing for him.”
Coffer and Matheson left the hospital on Wednesday.
Doctors expect Cody Coffer to make a full recovery.
Watch the full Fox 5 interview with the parents here.
On Wednesday, the girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history was questioned by the FBI and said she had no idea he was “planning violence against anyone.”
Marilou Danley, who returned late on Tuesday from a family visit to the Philippines and is regarded by investigators as a “person of interest,” said through a lawyer that the carnage Stephen Paddock unleashed while she was abroad caught her completely by surprise.
“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” Danley, 62, said in a written statement read to reporters by her attorney in Los Angeles, where the FBI was questioning her.
A Federal Bureau of Investigation official in Las Vegas, meanwhile, said no one has been taken into custody.
But Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters he found it hard to believe that the arsenal of weapons, ammunition, and explosives recovered by police in their investigation could have been assembled by Paddock completely on his own.
“You have to make an assumption that he had some help at some point,” Lombardo said at a news briefing. Lombardo said the attack was the obvious outcome of meticulous planning.
“What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” the sheriff said.
Nearly 500 people were also injured when Paddock, 64, strafed an outdoor concert with gunfire on Sunday night from his 32nd-floor suite of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
He took his own life before police stormed his room, bringing the total death toll to 59.
Police recovered nearly 50 firearms from three locations they searched, nearly half of them from the hotel suite. Twelve of the rifles there were fitted with so-called bump stocks, officials said, allowing the guns to be fired almost as though they were automatic weapons.
In response to a question, Lombardo said investigators were examining the possibility Paddock’s purchase of more than 30 guns in October 2016 may have been precipitated by some triggering event in his life. He did not elaborate.
If Paddock did have any accomplice, there remained no evidence as yet “to indicate terrorism” in the shooting spree, said Aaron Rouse, FBI special agent in charge of the Las Vegas field office.
Earlier in the day, U.S. President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas, marking the first time since taking office that he has had to confront a major mass shooting.
Reuters contributed to this report.