Sister Of Angie Gomez Remembers Las Vegas Shooting Victim
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
People around the country are hearing how they lost relatives in Sunday night's attack. Earlier today I talked to Tawny Finn, who lives here in Los Angeles. She lost her sister Angie Gomez, who was 20 years old. Angie went to the country music festival with her boyfriend, Ethan Sanchez. The two stood up near the stage. And I asked Tawny to tell us about her sister.
TAWNY FINN: She was born when I was 9. And I just immediately fell in love with her and took care of her. And I mean, my brother's friends would even say, you know, I think she's attached your hip. She's glued to your hip. She was such a good baby. She hardly even cried. But when she did, I would just sing to her, and she would just put her ear up to my mouth and stop crying.
MCEVERS: Over the years, Tawny says she and Angie got really close even though Angie was younger. And she says Angie mostly liked staying at home and hanging out with family. She didn't usually go to concerts. The trip to Las Vegas was special.
FINN: She loved country music - like, loved it. I don't even think Ethan is a big fan, but he wanted to go for her. And they stayed the extra night on Sunday because she wanted to see Jason Aldean.
MCEVERS: Jason Aldean.
FINN: Yes. And then Ethan just said, like, the first, like, round of shots - it went off, and he thought it was fireworks, and he didn't really know what it was. And he said they were just kind of looking around, like, confused. And he said the second round - and it got her. She just fell into his arms. She couldn't talk. Like, she was just trying to breathe. She can't breathe. And so he laid her on the floor, and he laid on top of her to protect her.
And then there was actually about four strangers that helped pick her up - her body. They got her to the street. And, finally, one good Samaritan just stopped, taking (unintelligible) and offered his Camaro and put her in the front seat. And we just rushed them to the hospital, but it was just too late. They couldn't resuscitate her.
MCEVERS: How did you hear? Did you talk to Ethan from the hospital?
FINN: Yeah. My - I got a call from my mom at 11. Ethan had to call my mom and tell her that he was sorry. Ethan is just taking on a lot of blame.
FINN: And just - Ethan keeps telling us that he's sorry that he couldn't save her. We just keep trying to tell him that we're so happy that you were there with her and that you got her out of there because there are still some people that weren't as fortunate, and they were still there in the morning.
MCEVERS: Yeah, it's not his fault.
FINN: He was just telling me, like, that day at lunch that he was just telling her that he would never want to be with anybody else and how they had plans - when they were going to get married, when they were going to have kids. Like, they literally were the childhood sweethearts that were going to make it.
MCEVERS: One of the things that therapists and people who specialize in trauma say can help sort of put out the images that must be going through your head of that night and what happened is to choose an image of that person - an image that you have in their head of the person - a good memory, something to replace the bad images with. And I wonder if there's a good memory that you'd want to share with us about Angie.
FINN: There's just so many. Probably, one of my greatest memories was I was just going through, like, some videos. There was one in particular - my brother - he had brought the babies over. And we were baking and everything. And we just all were, like, laughing so hard that we were crying. And I was just watching that over and over this morning, and I just kept crying.
MCEVERS: Tawny, we're really sorry for your loss.
FINN: Thank you.
MCEVERS: And we're very grateful for you for sharing. And, hopefully, you can hang on to the laughs and the good memories when the hard times pass.
FINN: I will try. Thank you so much.
MCEVERS: That was Tawny Finn from Los Angeles, talking about her sister Angie Gomez. Angie died in the attack in Las Vegas on Sunday. She was 20 years old. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.