LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – UNLV students tell FOX5 they spent the day after Wednesday’s tragedy on campus learning to live with what they describe as a lowered sense of security and a heightened sense of fear. Along with that, though, has come the beginning of the healing process.
A prayer service held at St. Viator Catholic Church memorialized the people who were lost as a result of the shooting.
“I’m part of the business school where (the shooting) took place,” Amelia Azares, aUNLV student, told FOX5 after she exited the service. “I was supposed to go on Wednesday, but I got a call from one of my friends saying, ‘Don’t go. Don’t come.’”
“I was just so worried the entire time,” Amelia’s mother Carrie added, describing how she felt when her daughter drove from home toward campus to pick up her friend. “When she got home, it was a hug like no other.”
The Azares family was one of many who attended the service at St. Viator.
“It took a toll on me just realizing how grateful I should be that I am here still today, and I did not go that day,” Amelia said.
Father Daniel Rolland led the service by saying that although we live in a city of lights, we must remember that the most important lights come from within us.
“We’re not going to let this take over,” he told FOX5 after the service, referencing the darkness of the world. “We will rise up and continue to let our light shine bright. Partly because I think that’s who we are, but also because we need to.”
That sentiment is on top of mind for students who are grappling with how they’re going to find the peace of mind to study for finals, which are coming up in the next few days.
“Saturday, I was supposed to have a math final,” Amelia said. “So, thankfully that got canceled, but if that was still taking place, I would not go, just because I would not feel comfortable enough to put myself in that position, especially just a few days after everything that happened.”
Amelia does want to come back to school for the spring semester, but is hoping for heightened security on campus. Her mother agrees that students should come back for the spring.
“We have to move forward,” Carrie said. “You can’t let evil take over you. And we have to shine the light like they said and continue.”
FOX5 has learned of petitions calling for improved security on campus and for all remaining classes and exams at the university to be canceled. FOX5 has also obtained an email from UNLV’s president saying an announcement on finals could come on Friday.
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