CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Passengers arriving in Charlotte from Las Vegas on American Airlines Flight 2255 were able to exhale just a little more when their plane touched down before 2 p.m. Monday.
Nellie Briggman was among the many who were totally aware of the deadly violence that unfolded hours before boarding her flight.
"You thinking that you're going to a concert, and then for something like this to happen... It was just bad to hear," she said.
Compelling cell phone videos from the crime scene have gone viral, detailing the full-blown moments of terror as a gunman opened fire from a Las Vegas hotel room onto a crowd enjoying a concert, killing 58 and wounding more than 500 people.
Its unvarnished and brutal aftermath ignited both anger and subdued emotions for those on a cross-country journey.
Marissa Regan of Charleston slept through of much the mayhem.
"I feel grateful to have been in bed early last night - to have missed the whole thing," Regan said.
Many of those coming home first knew of the death toll when it was still in the single digits. Once on the ground in Charlotte, they learned that it escalated to more than 50 concert-goers.
Lynn Vaughn was stunned.
"Look how it's escalated since then," Vaughn said. "It's incredibly mind-blowing."
Returning home also brought a grateful revelation for Briggman. She's thankful for life.
"Oh my gosh, it's just - I made it home," she said. "These people didn't."