Markos Orkoulas does not keep in mind when Jason Aldean took the stage on the Route ninety one Harvest Pageant.
A educated banquet bartender who’s labored at Mandalay Bay Resort and On line casino in Las Vegas for almost a dozen years, Orkoulas, 37, was in his third night time on the pageant working a particular VIP space overlooking the primary stage and its crowd. He did not hear music — he was solely listening for drink orders — till the gunfire began.
Rising up in Metairie, Orkoulas had pals who taught him to hunt by way of his highschool years at Rummel after which in school on the College of Louisiana at Lafayette. So when he was in the midst of making a drink order that night time on Oct. 1, he acknowledged the sounds he heard as gunshots. He stopped working and seemed on the crowd.
“I see individuals on the bottom, and it is such as you fall down on the bottom, the individual subsequent to you goes right down to attempt to make it easier to,” Orkoulas stated. “After which — it is tousled — they are not getting up.”
It has been a few week and a half since Stephen Paddock opened hearth on the gang of hundreds on the nation music pageant, killing fifty eight individuals, injuring about 500 others and confounding authorities as to why the sixty four-yr-previous retiree would convey 23 weapons to his lodge room to destroy the lives of so many.
As a result of Orkoulas was engaged on that raised VIP platform, he watched the heartbreaking scene unfold under him, shouting at his bar friends to take what cowl they might. Ultimately capable of escape and return to his automotive, Orkoulas adopted a bloody path — it was like he’d taken a nasty shot on a deer, he stated — towards the pageant’s worker parking zone. Now, days later, his solely remorse is that he did not keep to assist extra individuals.
Orkoulas moved after he graduated from ULL to Las Vegas in 2005, becoming a member of his sister who had been there for years earlier than him. He’d bartended by means of school, and he figured he might make higher cash in Las Vegas than he might again residence in New Orleans.
He discovered a house at Mandalay Bay, one he is grateful for on a regular basis. Orkoulas loves his job, although he as soon as took a depart of absence to open his personal bar in New Orleans. It did not work out, and he was again in Las Vegas inside 18 months. Working banquets and particular occasions, he stated, provides him versatile hours and the prospect to contract out for festivals like these hosted by iHeart Radio and Route ninety one.
The night time Paddock began capturing was presupposed to be Orkoulas’ longest day as they awaited payout on the finish of the night time. Working with a second bartender within the VIP space, Orkoulas shortly obtained right into a rhythm because the visitors began arriving — and consuming. By the point Jason Aldean, the Sunday night time headliner, hit the…