Tragedy, survival in Las Vegas

By Swapna Vettiyil

Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Brian Fraser, 39, was among 58 people killed by a gunman in the Oct. 1 shooting at a concert outside the Mandalay Bay resort.

Fraser, a 2001 Cal Poly Pomona graduate, was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

He served as a member educator while in the fraternity.

Fraser worked as vice president of sales for Greenpath. He lived in La Palma with his wife and children.

The brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have created a GoFundMe page to assist his family during this time. The link is gofundme.com/brian-fraser-memorial-fund.

Stephen C. Paddock, 64, shot at concertgoers attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

In addition to killing 58 people, Paddock wounded close to 500 others before killing himself.

A number of Cal Poly Pomona students and community members attended the event, including Communications student Cailin Kuchenbecker.

Kuchenbecker said she and her two sisters were staying at the Luxor Hotel the weekend of the festival.

When the shooting began she and her sisters were standing about 100 feet from performer Jason Aldean.

“We were standing almost in the center of the crowd, next to a metal barricaded press walk,” she said.

“When the shots started I initially thought they were fireworks.

“The man next to me screamed ‘Get down now’ and my sisters and I jumped to the ground.”

Kuchenbecker and those around her did not know the gunshots were coming from above and believed there was a shooter at large in the crowd.

“I remember waiting to get shot and thinking that I was either going to die or I was about to see my sisters die.”

After getting out of the crowd she and her sisters ran toward the Tropicana but were denied entrance and hid in the bushes against the building, she said.

Kuchenbecker was one of 22,000 attendees at the festival, and although she and her sisters were able to make it out safely, it has changed her life just as it has many others.

“I also want to say that my family, friends and professors have been incredibly understanding and supportive,” Kuchenbecker said.

Cal Poly Pomona is offering counseling in Building 66, Room 116 where walk-ins are welcome. If a student would like to talk after business hours he or she can call 909 869-3220 and press 2 for the phone crisis support.

Cailin Kuchenbecker, 21, took photos moments before the gunman opened fire on nearly 20,000 concert goers

Cailin Kuchenbecker, 21, took photos moments before the gunman opened fire on nearly 20,000 concert goers

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