'Am I going to die?,' University of Florida student shot in Las Vegas thought
Kristin Babik shot in back while attending Route 91 Harvest festival
LAS VEGAS – University of Florida law student Kristin Babik escaped the mass shooting in Las Vegas with her life Sunday night, but she will always have an unfortunate reminder: the bullet lodged between her vertebrae.
Doctors said removing it could kill her.
That bullet was fired by Stephen Paddock as he perched from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and released an onslaught of gunfire on the country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
Babik told WKMG she heard three rounds of gunfire then felt something on her back.
"I felt something hit me really hard and then I felt something splatter on my back, so I thought it was either like somebody's drink or, it kind of felt like a paintball or something like that," she said. "I didn't think it was a gun shot."
By that point, she said, most of the attendees were either running or on the ground trying to shield themselves. She did what she could to get to safety, climbing over a fence to get away.
The pain was so bad she wanted to stop.
It wasn't until after Babik made it over the fence that she other concert goers realized she'd been shot in the back and was coughing up blood.
Babik said she thought: "Am I going to die?"
"I didn't know if I was going to be able to walk again when they told me where the bullet was," Babik said. "But I'm much more hopeful now."
The third-year law student was one of more than 500 people injured in the massacre. Another 59 were killed.
"I just don't understand why someone would do this to so many innocent people," Babik said. "You know, I'm fortunate that I survived, but other people didn't."
She's recovering at a hospital in Las Vegas, suffering from a collapsed lung caused by the bullet in her back. If her lungs can stay inflated on her own, she'll be released Wednesday.
"I'll forever have to have a bullet in my back, for no reason," Babik said. "So I'm just sorry other people have to deal with similar or worse injuries or losses, and I hope they are OK, too."
A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for Babik's medical expenses.
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