LAS VEGAS – When a gunman slaughtered 59 people and wounded more than 500 others Sunday night, Lynette Martinez was right there in the middle. And she tells CBN News her life will never be the same after surviving the deadliest shooting attack in U.S. history.
"It was just gun shots and gun shots and gun shots, and a guy fell behind me, and he was covered in blood. My boots were covered in blood," she recalled.
Martinez thought she was hearing fireworks, but when country music singer Jason Aldean ran off stage, she ran for her life.
"I am just so grateful I get to see another day because there are people who couldn't, and I see the videos online of what happened and I can't hear it because I am numb to it and I shouldn't be getting used to gunshots," she said.
This 16-year-old grew up overnight.
"My heart goes out to everyone," she said. "I understand I was there and I am just praying for every single person for healing and peace."
When Martinez sees all the people filling blood banks in Las Vegas, working overtime to keep up with the life-and-death demand, she sees hope, healing and good overcoming evil.
"It's amazing to see the blood donations banks with hundreds of people lining up because they are not thinking of politics; they are not thinking about religion while they are doing it; they are thinking about other people and they are thinking about people who are helpless," she said.
Martinez still can't believe she made it out alive.
"I was waiting to get shot. I wasn't waiting to come out alive," she said.
Asked how she sees the world now, she said, "So different, so different – I have so much compassion, and I thank God every single day, and I just want to be more like Him."
Church is only place she wanted to go and she's so grateful for this community.
"My heart is warmed by the many people coming together even now at this church, and it's just amazing," she said.
Martinez said she's forgiven the gunman.
"I don't think it's his fault. He's not right. It wasn't God, it wasn't him. It was another thing, an evil thing. I forgive him," she said.
Martinez plans to take one day at a time and cling to her faith in God.
"So I am going to read his Word and I am going to worship and I am going to pray because that is the only thing that can get me through it," she said.
While no one really knows how they'll respond when their world comes crashing down, this young woman wants to love people more than she ever has.
"I am going to love people more, think of people as if they were my best friend or as if they are my brother and my sister because they are. We are all together here for a reason," she said.