Olympia police officer survives Las Vegas shooting, thanks to training, instinct

KING 5's Ted Land reports.

A local police officer and her family were right in the middle of the mayhem, as bullets rained down on the crowd in Las Vegas. They escaped unharmed, thanks in part to training and instinct.

Kelsey Clark, an Olympia police officer, and her husband, Toby, planned this trip before they knew they had a little one on the way. But the newest addition to their young family wasn't going to stop them from enjoying a few days of music and sun - a much-needed break from their busy lives back home in Washington.

But just moments after they snapped some photos, that sense of carefree calm, shattered.

"Just the sounds," recalled Toby. "The sounds are going to stick with me forever: the screams, the automatic gunfire, the cracks and the whizz of the bullets hitting around us. That's something I'll never forget."

Kelsey's training and experience in law enforcement quickly kicked in.

"Absolutely. I look back on it and try to think of a time where I was truly scared, and I don't recall at any point where I was scared," she said.

They didn't hesitate. They knew those were gunshots.

"We ran as fast as we could."

They rushed to a nearby hotel with many other people who were at the concert.

"Anytime somebody would raise their voice, everybody would start to panic," Kelsey said. "People would have randomly screamed and started running as if somebody was in the building with a gun."

Amid the mayhem, they realized they had separated from Kelsey's parents. Toby started looking around for them; Kelsey comforted a distraught woman.

They reunited with the rest of their family hours later. All nine in their group escaped unharmed.

"I think about it constantly," she said. "Out of all the people that were there and all the shots that were fired, and all nine of us, our whole party of nine, made it out uninjured. It's baffling to me. I think about it all the time - how did we get out and so many others didn't?"

The couple planned to head back to Olympia Tuesday evening.

© 2017 KING-TV


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