LAS VEGAS – University of Florida law student Kristin Babik escaped the mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night with her life, but will always have an unfortunate reminder: the bullet lodged between her vertebrae.
Doctors said removing it could kill her.
That bullet was fired by Stephen Paddock as he perched from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and released an onslaught of gunfire on the country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
Babik told News 6 she heard three rounds of gunfire then felt something on her back.
"I felt something hit me really hard and then I felt something splatter. And I thought it was after somebody’s drink or it kind of felt like a paintball or something like that. I didn’t think it was a gun shot," she said.
By that point, she said, most of the attendees were either running or on the ground trying to shield themselves. She did what she could to get to safety.
"It took me forever to get out of there because I started not being able to breathe and I thought I was just hyperventilating. My friend Jo kept telling me, 'You got this. You’ll be fine.' I started coughing more," Babik said.
The pain was so bad she wanted to stop.
"We made it to the fence and I had to climb over. Other people were there helping me climb over. There was a table that I stepped on so I could get over. I remember somebody on the other side catching me. He gave me the biggest hug," Babik said in tears.
It wasn't until after Babik made it over the fence that she other concert goers realized she'd been shot in the back and was coughing up blood.
Babik said she thought: "Am I going to die?"
The third-year law student was one of more than 500 people injured in the massacre, another 59 were killed.
She's recovering at a hospital in Las Vegas, suffering from a collapsed lung caused by the bullet in her back. If her lungs can stay inflated on her own, she'll be released Wednesday.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for Babik's medical expenses.