Quad City concert goers return from festival that turned into a massacre

MOLINE - Ben Cherrington of Moline had tears in his eyes when he arrived back home in Moline on Monday, hugging his two young sons and wife, after living through Sunday's barrage of bullets at the Route 91 Harvest concert in Las Vegas Sunday.

"We were standing there right on the  right hand side of the stage, I would say 50 yards from Jason Aldean and then you heard like fireworks going off. Everyone kind of froze," said Cherrington, who was there along with two other guys from the Quad Cities.

"All of a sudden you heard a bunch of shots, everyone hit the ground. And, I just laid there for a minute and thought, this isn't a good idea. So, me and two of my buddies we got up and just ran, it was just chaos.
We kept running from casino to casino until we were safe," he said.

He said he was split up from the pair for a few hours, but everyone made it back to their hotel safe and sound.

They arrived on an Allegiant airplane at the Quad City International Airport just before noon.

Mallory Cherrington says her husband had her on the phone during most of the ordeal.

"I'm feeling so happy. Just relieved that he's home. My boys have a dad, I'm just so happy," she said.

Also on the first plane out of Vegas to the Quad Cities since the mass shooting, was Marc Nesseler , a local sports editor who was at the three day music festival with his wife.

"It's surreal to think that 22,000 people in that small area and you're going to have a sniper pick off people? It's just crazy," he said, holding the wristband for the festival in his hands.

For some reason, the couple had planned to leave the festival at 10:30 pm that night, but instead, left about 20 minutes before the shots rang out.

"I don't know why. Guardian angel is all I can think of, cause we love Aldean," he said.

He said the festival crowd that night skewed young, with lots of enthusiastic country fans there for a good time.

"I would guess 80 percent were 25 and younger. I don't even want to know the ages of the victims. Alotta kids," he said.