Yukon Party interim leader Stacey Hassard (centre) observes a moment of silence in the legislature to honour the victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Hassard and his wife were in the crowd when the shooting started. Both escaped unharmed. (Jesse Winter/Yukon News)

Yukon Party interim leader among crowd during deadly Vegas shooting

Stacey and Shelley Hassard are safe, back in the Yukon following massacre

When the shooting started, Stacey Hassard, like many people standing around him, thought he was hearing fireworks.

“That first short volley that went off, both my wife and the lady next to me turned with panicked looks and I said, ‘Relax, it’s just someone shooting off some fireworks.’ I really did believe that.”

Hassard, the interim leader of the Yukon Party, and his wife Shelley were in the crowd at an outdoor Jason Aldean concert Oct. 1 in Las Vegas. That’s where a gunman, firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, began shooting bullets into the crowd.

Fifty-nine people died and hundreds more are injured, making it the among the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

“I guess the biggest thing I felt was fear, obviously,” an emotional Hassard said.

When he realized it was gunfire he was hearing, he and his wife laid on the ground for a moment before realizing that it was safer to try and get out of the area, Hassard said.

He described seeing frantic concertgoers.

“I guess my biggest concern, kind of weird to say but, I think I was more concerned with people running over one another than I actually was about the gunfire,” he said.

“So I was just trying to get people to calmly move away which might sound kind of stupid because there’s nothing very calm about a situation like that.”

Hassard said he and his wife found shelter near a bar that had been set up for the concert

“We got a desk and some tables flipped over and a few cases of bottled water. It wasn’t much but it was what was there.”

The pair managed to safely leave the arena and take a taxi back to their hotel.

“Nobody had any idea. We were (staying) down at the other end of the strip and when we got back there people had no idea that this was all taking place.”

Back in the Yukon, Hassard said he is glad to be home.

“I feel for all the people who are grieving and I’m happy to be home.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Las Vegas mass shootingYukon PartyYukon politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read