The world is a strange place. It can be warm and beautiful, full with life, but it can also be cold and ruthless. For Melissa Castruita, here's hoping that she finds the rest of her life to be warm and beautiful. She can now be considered one of the world's luckiest (or unluckiest people, depending on how you look at it) as she has survived not one, but two mass shootings.
Her fiance remembers the day, December 2, 2015, when he got a text from his fiance while she was working at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, "active shooter."
That day changed Castruita's life forever. Crowds began to make her uneasy, and she often found herself jumping to thoughts of "does that person with their hand in their pocket have a gun?" Time does seem to heal most wounds, because less than two years later she was in the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival celebrating her 34th birthday. Fate transpired against her, and the most terrible re-run imaginable began to take place in front of her as bullets started to fly during Jason Aldean's set.
Castruita used to joke with her family that she was the safest person to be around because there was no way another mass shooting would happen with her in the middle of it.
Her fiance J.C. Monticone received the exact same message as two years prior, "active shooter." He was on the casino floor of the Luxor when the message came through on his phone and he immediately sprinted through the chaos that is already a casino floor, trying to make it to his fiance.
Monticone, a paramedic with the South Pasadena Fire Department, was immediately swamped by the sounds of gun fire and chaos when he got through the doors of the Luxor. His paramedic training kicked in and he had to make one of the hardest decisions of his life, help those in need of medical attention or search for his fiance.
In the end both he and Melissa Castruita survived the ordeal. Hopefully they never have to experience this level of terror and chaos ever again.