NC psychologist survives front row at Vegas concert

NC psychologist survives front row at Vegas concert
(Photo courtesy Karen Henson)
(Photo courtesy Karen Henson)
(Photo courtesy Karen Henson)
(Photo courtesy Karen Henson)

MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - Karen Henson was excited to be in the front row at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas Sunday night. But all that excitement soon turned to fear as a gunman fired at the crowd.

"We got as low as we could and stayed there until the shots stopped," she says.

Henson describes a horrific scene around her – people jumping over, some bloodied, one, she says, with a gunshot to the head.

"For a moment, I thought 'as we sit here, we're going to be trampled as these people try to come forward,'" she remembers.

The Morganton mom was there with family members, and in the chaos, linked up with a young stranger who was alone.

"We locked arms and we just ran, and as we got up and turned and had to head towards the back, we saw all the bodies and people who were hurt," she says. "And I just made myself not look any more at those images."

She then focused on that young woman and getting her to safety.

"I told her to focus on me and to breathe, and we were going to get out of there," she says.

Henson and her group got out unhurt.

Now, as a child psychologist in North Carolina, she says she recognizes the need for parents to talk with their children about these events.

"Talk about some type of safety planning and what we'll do," she says. "While still reinforcing that generally, we are safe."

Henson says it is important when talking with children about these situations, to focus on the people who are helping others.

"So that kids know that there are good people, and there are positive people in the world as well," she says.

Henson has not yet returned to work with her child patients, but she feels a little more connected now, to the traumatic events she is helping them through.

"There's more work for me to do," she says. "And there has to be a reason that I'm still here."

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.