LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) — A soldier is still trying to process what happened in Las Vegas last week and says what she saw there, in some ways, was worse that what she encountered on the battlefield.
Tami Colosimo, of Lake Elsinore, says it took days to wash away all the blood on her hands after the Las Vegas shooting. The Iraq vet who’s back home with her family in Lake Elsinore now doesn’t think she did anything special, but when she realized she and other concertgoers were under attack, instinct kicked in.
“Every time I looked at my hands, it did make me cry,” she said. “I just went into soldier mode, then nurse mode. I didn’t think about it.”
She ordered people to move fences to open up evacuation routes then started providing medical care.
“We were using belts, people were taking off belts and we were using those as tourniquets to stop bleeding.”
Colosimo says she is surprised she was able to stay calm during the chaos, but says the Army and reserves had prepared her.
“We actually had just had active-shooter training last month, so it was very fresh in my head.”
But she says the situation in Las Vegas wasn’t anything like her tours of duty. She knew what to expect in Iraq.
“It’s all armored vehicles, you’re wearing a vest, you’re wearing a helmet, you’ve got a gun to shoot back,” she said. “Those were things you don’t have, so it doesn’t compare; it’s way worse.”
Still she’s glad she was at the concert and able to put her skills to use.
“I just kind of felt like I had to help, it’s like where I was supposed to be.”
Colosimo says she’s been a little shaky since returning home, wary of loud noises and trying to avoid large crowds, but she’s grateful her scars are only emotional.