BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- A Bellingham woman, Melinda Brockie, was one of the 527 people injured during the massacre in Las Vegas. Brockie was attending the Jason Aldean concert with her husband and relatives when the shooting began.
Brockie’s cousin Sarah Gray says Brockie was shot in the face and underwent surgery Monday afternoon. Gray says the surgery went well; Brockie is responsive and expected to make a recovery. She says her cousin was not talking yet, but able to communicate with her husband by writing down what she wanted to say.
"Last night, I'm dead asleep, and I get a call at midnight,” said Gray.
She says the call came from a family member who was called by Brockie’s husband letting her know that Brockie was shot at the concert.
“Melinda, she was shot, she was shot in the face, they’re in Vegas at that concert,” said Gray recalling what her relative told her on the phone.
Gray says Brockie and her husband are big country music fans, especially of Jason Aldean. They went to Las Vegas for the concert and Brockie was about to Facetime her 9-year-old son, who is also a big Aldean fan, from the concert venue just minutes before the shooting happened.
“Once the gunfire started happening, they just ran. People were tripping over each other, and then she was hit. she got shot, it was perforated so the bullet went through her jaw,” said Gray.
In that moment of chaos, Gray said, it was an off-duty paramedic who jumped into action to help get Brockie and her husband.
“There was a paramedic who was a concert goes and when everything started happening her went into paramedic mode, he was off-duty and he was the one that helped her Melinda and her husband to safety,” said Gray.
Gray says the family is grateful for that man’s actions. She says they don’t understand the shooter’s actions and likely never will.
“It’s sickening, that someone would intentionally hurt people like that,” said Gray. “We’re one of the lucky ones. It’s bittersweet, our prayers and miracles have been answered,” added Gray, chocking up. “Stuff like this shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. My heart really goes out to the families that are hurting today."
Gray described her cousin Brockie as a beautiful soul, a mother of two young boys, a loving wife, a state social worker and a leader in their Lummi National tribal community.
“She’s a phenomenal woman. Driven, a role model in our community. She’s a social worker for the state, working on her master’s through UW, really hard working woman, her and husband are one of this people you look up to,” said Gray.
She says Brockie’s recovery will be long but the support from her community helped their family see that good always prevails over evil.
“It does give you some hope that there is so much love out there amongst all this hate and all this fear, it does give you hope,” said Gray.
She set up a GoFundMe page for her cousin. Donations will help go toward medical and family expenses as Brockie recovers.