One month ago, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
In the days following that tragedy, a team from the Pima County Attorney’s Office was there to help those who needed it the most.
The ten-man team of victim advocate staff members and crisis volunteers spent one week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where a Family Assistance Center was set up. They helped connect victims and their families with financial and medical resources, and also gave them an outlet to express how they were feeling.
“They were visibly shaken, crying, some were still injured. I mean, you could feel the pain in the community,” said team-member, Katie Lawler. “The ‘survivor's guilt that people had was very overwhelming for people. And they were able to come through the center and talk through some of that.”
The team was requested by the Nevada Attorney General’s Office and worked fifteen hour days, giving their all to those in need. But they say what they got in return was so much more.
“A lot of times, it's easy for victims to feel alone in the situation that they're in and it's just an honor to be there for them,” said team-member, Gabriela Berrios.
“When you're in someone's darkest moments and they're letting in this perfect stranger, and they're sharing their most intimate secrets with you, it's hard to explain,” said Lawler. “But it's a very fulfilling and rewarding experience that each of us has.”