ONLY ON FOX: LASD deputy shot in Vegas shares story from O.C. hospital
FULLERTON, CA (FOX 11) - A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who was shot in Las Vegas two weeks ago spoke to FOX 11 on Sunday as she recovers at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.
Lori Kammer, a 16-year-veteran of LASD, and her husband Todd Kammer, a longtime sergeant with LASD, were both attending the Route 91 Country Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1 when Stephen Paddock opened fire.
"What the TV is showing you, it's not exactly what happened, it was a lot worse, it was a lot worse," Lori said.
"The first volley that he shot down was exactly the way everybody said, it sounded like fire crackers, it was very quick, it was very successive, it was short it was almost like a test, and then it just stopped," Todd said. "About 15-20 seconds later, I mean literally all hell broke loose, and that's when it was rapid succession. And it was just hundreds of rounds coming down, and we started watching people fall around us."
Instead of fleeing, the Kammers tried to help save lives. They began ordering people to keep their heads down, and run from the area.
It was during the gunman's third volley that Lori was shot.
"At first it felt just like a big stinger that hit my side, my hip area and I went to the ground and I said I think I got shot, and he was like well let me check it out, he said well we don't have time for it right now," Lori said. "So then we got up once it stopped and started running again and the adrenaline just overtakes and you just start running."
"Nothing can prepare you for that when your wife gets shot, I knew that she had been shot but I also knew the situation that we were in and how dire we had to get over there," Todd said.
Once Lori couldn't run any further because of the pain, Todd carried her to a wall hundreds of yards away.
"I could tell I was going into shock," Lori said. "And there was another guy there that also got shot in the leg, he was good at first and he was going into shock and we were just talking back and forth keeping eachother awake, telling eachother we're gonna be okay."
They eventually ended in the back of a Good Samaritans truck with several other gunshot victims, one of which was dead. The truck brought Lori to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.
"From that night on, I haven't left her side," Todd said.
Lori's injuries were dire. The bullet hit her pelvis and fragmented into her stomach, damaging her intestines.
After surgeries and a stint in the ICU, she was flown to SoCal and is now recovering at St. Jude.
Todd still wears the iconic purple wristband from the Route 91 music festival.
"I haven't taken it off since that night," he said.
A reminder of the night he almost lost the love of his life.
A night when so many others never made it out.
"I'd say our training definitely helped save us that night," Todd said.
"It did," Lori said. "Also the adrenaline, you hear about that in the academy and throughout your career, and it kicked in, you know, survival mode. I wanna survive I wanna go home and I wanna see my family."
Lori still has the bullet lodged near her appendix, and doctors have no plans of removing it.
She expects she won't be back at work for 9-12 months, but she will walk again.
"I'm just thankful I'm still alive," she said.
A YouCaring link has been set up for medical expenses.
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