"I thought we were going to die", Amherst couple recounts experience during Vegas shooting

Posted at 6:50 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 18:50:10-04

Ernest and Christine Catuzza, from Amherst, say they're lucky to be alive. The couple was vacationing in Las Vegas over the weekend and were inside the Mandalay Bay casino when a shooter opened fire from the hotel's 32nd floor Sunday night.

"I think my fear was never seeing my family again," explained Christine. "Because we didn't know."

The Catuzza's had no idea what was really going on when SWAT members entered the casino and ordered the guests to evacuate. They were taken to a parking area and eventually told to leave Mandalay Bay altogether. Eventually, the Catuzza's and others were able to find a restaurant for safety about a mile from the scene.

"You never know how vulnerable you really are until something like this takes place," Ernest said at his home in Amherst, Tuesday. "You don't know where to run. There is no where to hide."

Ernest posted several live videos to Facebook. It was his way of documenting the terrifying ordeal.

"I was mainly recording in case anything happened to me or my wife," he said, choking back tears. "[Friends and family] would have known what happened."

Their son, Joseph Catuzza, was on the phone with his parents throughout most of the night. He tried to keep his parents calm and relayed information he was watching on TV.

"The biggest fear the whole time in the back of my mind was losing my parents as I was talking to them," Joseph said.

The Catuzza's are thankful they are okay and got back home safely. But they can't help but think of all the other people in Las Vegas Sunday night who can't say the same.