Sister of Vegas Victim Describes Her Last Moments
The sister of a victim who was shot and killed in Las Vegas on Sunday night said that she died in her arms.
Andrea Castilla and Athena Castilla were out celebrating Andrea’s 28th birthday at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. Her boyfriend, Derek Miller, was waiting to propose.
“I told him, she would have said ‘yes’ immediately,” Athena Castilla told ABC News (via Yahoo) of Andrea’s thoughts.
But then, the terror began.
— Hetty Chang (@HettyNBCLA) October 5, 2017
Gunshots rang out during a Jason Aldean concert, and afterward, it was revealed that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was the suspect. Officials accuse him of killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more, firing upon the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort and casino.
“My sister said, ‘duck,’ so we duck and the next thing we know she was already hit,” Athena said. “It just happened so fast.”
Andrea was shot in the left side of her head and she fell to the ground. Her sister then tried to cover her.
“She was struggling to breathe and I just held her head,” Athena was quoted by ABC/Yahoo as saying. “We were trying to find the wound … I’ve never seen so much blood in my entire life.”
People then began running all around them and eventually, she and others were able to find a gate and use it as a stretcher to carry Andrea out.
“You’re our angel, you’re going to be fine,” Athena recalls telling her wounded sister. “I was like, ‘Don’t leave me,’” Athena added.
Then, a truck sent them and other victims to the hospital.
“We couldn’t give up on her,” Athena said. “She deserved a chance to get help … she was literally dying in my arms.”
— ABC News (@ABC) October 5, 2017
When they got to the hospital, later that night, they learned that Andrea died.
“I was trying to stay positive that she was going to make it, but I could see all the blood,” Athena said. “It was all over me.”
“[Andrea] was a beautiful soul,” said her brother, Adam Castilla. “She shouldn’t have died that night.”
“They had promise rings, and they always talked about it,” added Andrea’s brother Adam, 33. “Derek had asked my dad’s permission. He wanted to start a family with her,” he told People magazine.
As Reuters noted, Paddock sprayed bullets continuously on the concert crowd of 22,000 people for about 10 minutes, starting at 10:05 p.m. PT (1:05 a.m. ET on Monday), according to Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. Police blew open Paddock’s hotel room door 75 minutes after the shooting started, finding he had killed himself.
Discerning Paddock’s motive has proven especially baffling as he had no criminal record, no known history of mental illness, and no outward signs of social disaffection, political discontent, or extremist ideology, police said.
Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62, was questioned by the FBI on Wednesday and said in a statement she never had any inkling of Paddock’s plans.
Danley, who returned late on Tuesday from a family visit to the Philippines, is regarded by investigators as a person of interest. The Australian citizen of Filipino heritage is cooperating fully with authorities, her lawyer said.
Reuters contributed to this article.