'It Happened So Fast': University of Florida Law Student Injured in Las Vegas Shooting - NBC 6 South Florida

'It Happened So Fast': University of Florida Law Student Injured in Las Vegas Shooting

Kristin Babik says she narrowly missed being paralyzed for life after taking bullet in back

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    Kristin Babik, a University of Florida law student who was shot in Las Vegas, describes her ordeal.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    A University of Florida law student who was shot in the back at a Las Vegas concert said she narrowly missed being paralyzed and was in "disbelief" when the gunfire erupted.

    Kristin Babik still has the bullet lodged between two vertebrae following Sunday night's shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

    "I still can't believe it happened. I didn't think I'd be leaving Vegas with such a permanent souvenir," Babik told NBC News from her hospital bed Wednesday.

    The 24-year-old Babik, a third year law student at UF, said she was visiting friends and watching country singer Jason Aldean perform when the shooting started.

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    "I was just mainly scared and in disbelief, I didn't really think I got shot until I was coughing up blood," Babik said.

    Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in the shooting. Authorities say 64-year-old Stephen Paddock unleashed the gunfire from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing himself before police reached his hotel room.

    Babik said a SWAT team member taped her wound and a group of people offered to drive her to the hospital before she came across an ambulance.

    "I think it's important to note that out of everyone running away and screaming, there were a lot of people going toward it to help," Babik said. "I remember so many people around me just helping me. I want to thank the people who risked their lives to stick around or run toward it, and I think it's important to note that bravery because I don't know if I'd be here today if I didn't have the help."

    Babik said she didn't realize the scope of the shooting until she got to the hospital.

    "When I heard how many other people were actually injured and died, it just makes me very sad," she said. "I just feel, you know, Why me? I was standing in a group of people and out of so many I'm one of the people who got shot for no reason and I just don't wish I could be here right now, I was supposed to catch a plane right after the concert and I should be in class."

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    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    Babik, who suffered a collapsed lung and broken rib in addition to the gunshot wound, said her mother came to the hospital as fast as she could to be at her side.

    "I was very happy that she came, she came right away," Babik said. "She gave me the biggest kiss on the forehead and I knew that everything would be okay."

    Babik said she knows she's fortunate to be alive.

    "I'm fortunate that I didn't pass away, but I'm also unfortunate that I'm now stuck with this bullet wound in my back for the rest of my life," she said. "I don't know how it's going to affect me and I'm really scared."

    She also said she's looking forward to getting back to Gainesville and back to school.

    "It happened so fast and it was such a huge incident and I'm a part of it and I don't really want to be but I'm thankful, like I said, to be a part of it in the way that I am, I can talk about it and let people know what happened but it is sad that I'm stuck with these injuries," she said.

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