SIOUX CITY (KTIV) — The fifth anniversary of what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in American history happened earlier this month, and a Siouxlander is making sure the stories of those who were at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas are never forgotten.
Ashley Hoff grew up in Storm Lake, Iowa before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a television producer.
It was tradition to attend the festival every year with her husband, Shaun, to celebrate their anniversary. But the 2017 festival took a tragic turn, when a gunman at a nearby hotel opened fire on the audience, killing 60 people and injuring more than 400.
Hoff says festival goers showed an incredible sense of community as they tried to protect each other.
“We stayed on the ground,” Hoff said. “It was really interesting. People started weaving together like a human quilt, putting body parts you knew you could get shot in and surviving on other people’s body parts you knew if they did they might not. And so a woman was lying on top of me, my legs were on top of Shaun.
Ashley and Shaun ended up being driven back to California by another couple fleeing the festival. She says the way viewers cared for each other inspired her to tell the story of what happened.
“This story that 20,000 people will never forget is something that the rest of the world no longer took the time to remember,” Hoff said. “And I felt this push on my heart to record the story that I remember and hold dear.”
After four years of work and a global pandemic, Hoff released his 4-part documentary on the set, titled 11 Minutes, on September 27, 4 days before his 5th birthday. This documentary can be seen on Paramount+.
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