CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The wife of an off-duty San Diego police officer shared the horrific moments of Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas and how she and her husband made it out alive.
Tiffany McGrath said it was the first time she and her husband had ever attended the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival.
“We heard about it at Stagecoach and thought, 'let’s go,”' Tiffany said.
So the McGraths, along with five other friends -- a few of Tom’s coworkers from the San Diego Police Department -- bought tickets.
“We were having a blast and we were already talking about planning the trip for the following year,” said Tiffany.
Tiffany was waiting to see Jason Aldean. But when he took the stage, everything changed.
“He had just started playing another song when all of a sudden we heard what we thought, what I thought was firecrackers,” said Tiffany.
She didn’t think anything of it at first but then noticed Aldean and his band clearing the stage.
“I even leaned over to the people in front of me and said, 'hey guys, don’t worry it’s just firecrackers,'” said Tiffany.
When she turned around, that’s when she noticed the woman behind her had been shot.
“She had on a white shirt. We saw right to her right side of her chest and then the blood started coming out,” said Tiffany.
As Tiffany and her husband tried to call the ushers for help, another round of gunfire began.
“We just all ducked down, got on the ground and took cover,” recalled Tiffany.
Her husband Tom, a San Diego police officer of four years, used his own body to shield hers.
“As soon as the second round stopped, he told me, 'I just need you to run,' that’s what he told me. 'You just need to run,'” said Tiffany.
So she did, as fast as she could. As she came to a fence to climb over, her boot got stuck.
“A man made it over ahead of me and he turned around and pulled me right over out of my boot. After I got over I just kept on booking it,” said Tiffany.
After making sure his wife was safe, Tom turned around and ran back into the line of fire.
“He had come across people, they needed his help. He stopped to try to assist them as much as he could,” said Tiffany.
All seven in the McGrath’s group escaped that night with only minor injuries.
“Every one of us, all seven of us, managed to get out with only bruises and scrapes on us and nothing more. It was just insane to think we all made it out,” said Tiffany.
Looking back, Tiffany said she knows as a police officer it is her husband’s job to save lives, but never did she think one of those lives would be her own.
“I am so proud of him on a day-to-day basis. Seeing what he did for those people and for me just blew me away,” said Tiffany.
The McGraths were there with six other San Diego police officers. Altogether the San Diego Police Department said about 15-20 officers were at Sunday’s concert. All made it home safely and without injury.