Basin Electric employee recounts experience near Las Vegas shooting

DesaRae Berreth, Basin Electric learning and development coordinator, and her husband Brent, were celebrating their anniversary in Las Vegas the night of the shooting at the Route 91 Festival.


A trip to Las Vegas to celebrate a wedding anniversary turned into a surreal experience for DesaRae Berreth, Basin Electric learning and development coordinator, and her husband Brent.

The timing was perfect; the couple flew into Las Vegas on their anniversary. When their Lyft driver mentioned Jason Aldean was playing in Las Vegas, excitement and interest came to mind. Tickets were reasonable, and plans for the night were not made yet. Concerts are not Brent’s favorite thing to do, and plans to attend did not go through.

“Never would I expect Brent’s lack of interest to be the best decision,” DesaRae recalls.

While the couple did not attend the concert, DesaRae recounts their experience along the Las Vegas Strip that night.

“My husband and I were ready to call it a night, since we had to get up early the next day for a tour. As we were exiting the second floor of MGM, this odd, repeated noise caught our attention.

At first we assumed this noise was fireworks, and we continued on our way across the strip when a gentleman came from behind us and yelled, ‘There is an active shooter on the roof of Mandalay Bay, shooting at people.’

Not knowing this gentleman, my husband and I paused and looked at each other. This gentleman’s comment was odd, but yet we discarded it.

When we heard the noise again, we then knew it wasn’t fireworks. People around us started to drop to the ground to protect themselves. No one knew where the shots were coming from or where they were shooting.

Our initial reaction was the assumption of overreaction because we didn’t know what was going on, or if this person knew what really occurred.

As the shots continued, we assumed the cops were possibly firing and they should have the individual by that time. We headed north, thinking maybe this stranger does know something and it is best to get out of the area.

Then you could hear the sirens; police cars and ambulances were trying to get through traffic as they headed south.

Since no one knew what occurred yet, people were still heading south of MGM. My husband and I wondered if we should say something to others. If so, what would we say to warn others still walking south toward Mandalay Bay? They turned to one another and said, ‘Should we say something, and if so, what do you say? We didn’t even know what occurred.’

A few people behind us would tell oncoming groups, ‘Turn around. There is an active shooter down there.’

No one turns around, and people continue to walk south. Who is going to believe them? I know I was skeptical at first when I heard ‘active shooter,’ and I didn’t listen.

My husband and I proceeded north on the strip. Cops and ambulances were still coming.

Then we started to see people coming from the south, crying and in distress. As my husband and I stand there, we are questioning what really happened. Still nothing has been confirmed yet. Streets were not blocked off yet nor were the sidewalks.

We went back to our room and immediately turned on the TV, hoping there was no active shooter.

Then reality struck. The worst had happened. Our hearts just sank … I can’t explain what I felt. I heard so many stories, and I didn’t know which ones to believe anymore.

As the day and even week went on, the news and the heartache you hear about what occurred, I feel sick for those affected and feel so appreciative that everything is okay for us.

We were in Las Vegas for a few more days after the shooting. We’d hear cops’ sirens go off every once in a while. My heart would sink and emotions kick in, wondering, is everything okay?

A week after the shooting, I often think about this tragedy, how things could have been different, and how fortunate we are. Also, my husband and I are so fortunate to have family and friends reach out to us while we were in Las Vegas, making sure we were okay.

Thank you again and pray for those who are still in critical condition.”

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