A Darwin woman who was trapped for hours in a Las Vegas restaurant during the shooting on the strip has returned home to her family, who say they’re lucky to have her back.
Sharon Kamber, 21, was eating with a friend at the Outback Steakhouse restaurant on Sunday night (local time) when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel on a crowd attending the Route 91 music festival.
They were locked down in the restaurant for hours until it was clear to leave.
Her parents Beat Strub and Doris Kamber nervously waited at the arrival gates at Darwin International Airport on Thursday afternoon for a glimpse of their daughter.
When Sharon – wearing a Made in the USA shirt – appeared through the door, they ran toward each other for an emotional embrace.
After a few minutes of whispers and hugs, a teary-eyed Sharon Kamber announced how happy she was to be home.
“The last few hours have been very difficult, I’m glad that I got to come home,” she told reporters.
Ms Kamber said her parents were the first people she called from the restaurant after it was locked down during the shooting.
“They were the first people that I called, made sure that I could say something to them when those doors locked… just in case anything happened,” she said.
She said she was nervous to see her family, given that she hadn’t known when she was going to see them again.
“It’s nice to actually see them in person, not over skype or a little screen. Just touching them, knowing that they’re there, knowing that I’m here – I love this place.”
‘You don’t think you’re ever going to be in the situation yourself’
Ms Kamber had been travelling for six months, and says Las Vegas was a changed city after the attack.
“There was barely anyone on the streets, barely any cars,” she said.
“Down towards that area it was still closed, it was still sort of scary to be on the streets.
“When we woke up that morning we thought, ‘can we go on the streets? Is it safe?'”
She said she was looking forward to getting home, but didn’t know what she’d feel after that.
“You see it on TV, and hear it on the radio and see it on the newspaper all the time, but you don’t think you’re ever going to be in the situation yourself,” Ms Kamber said.
With 58 people killed and almost 500 people injured in the shooting, Ms Kamber’s mother Doris said her family were lucky.
“We are actually the lucky ones, we’ve got her back,” she said.
“There are so many people that don’t get their loved ones back.”
Now back at home, Ms Kamber said her first stop would be a shower, before she heads to Darwin’s Mindil Markets for dinner.
“It will be my first Mindil all year,” she said.