Greenville man recounts witnessing Vegas shooting from tarmac

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville resident C.J. Johnson thought his trip to Las Vegas would be a relaxing getaway and, at first, it was.

“It was actually a really fun trip,” said Johnson. “I had a good time, saw some new places.”

Until he boarded Flight 1124 to Raleigh.

“It was interesting cause like we’re sitting on a plane about to take off and all of a sudden the pilot comes on, ‘We have a slight delay,’” Johnson said.

“It puzzled me a little bit and the pilot comes on again and tells us there has been a mass shooting going on in Vegas,” said Johnson.

That mass shooting was driving people to run out onto the tarmac to escape the shooter’s aim coming from Mandalay Bay.

“When everything was going on and I was on the plane, I could literally look out my window and see Mandalay Bay like right in front of me,” said Johnson. “I look out, and I saw the longest line of rescue vehicles I have ever seen.”

It prompted the airport to shut down, delaying Johnson’s flight.

“Our direct line of path is where the shooting is going on, and they were afraid that maybe someone was going to shoot at the plane.”

The details were still unclear to him until he landed at RDU and turned on his cell phone.

“I didn’t know the severity of it all,” said Johnson. “Just knew it was a bad situation.”

That changed when he got home.

“When I got home yesterday and I turned on the news, it was like I was processing it, but I was in shock, and didn’t want to show it and I was like ‘Oh my gosh.’”

Johnson said he is still shaken from the situation, but is grateful God was looking over him.

“If you can hug someone and tell them you love them because you don’t know, in a split-second someone you love could you be gone. And I know there’s 59 people whose family and friends wish they could hug them and tell them they love them right now.”

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