“Austin, where are you? Call grandma.”
That was the text Bellingham resident Lana Haddox sent to her grandson Austin Davis after learning he had been among hundreds shot at a Las Vegas country music festival Sunday night.
She received a call at 1:30 a.m. Monday from son Gary Davis – a 1980 Sehome High School graduate – telling her that Austin, who lived in Riverside, Calif., had been shot. Gary was driving to Las Vegas with wife Lori and Austin’s girlfriend Aubree Hennigan to look for Austin.
In the ensuing hours and as she waited in Bellingham, a frantic Haddox also tried to find her 29-year-old grandson, who was her only grandchild.
She called his cell phone. She texted him. She called the toll-free phone number set up for people trying to find their loved ones after the mass shooting. She called police. She called hospitals. She called the Red Cross.
All the while, she hoped – that he had dropped his cell phone or his wallet in the melee of fleeing festival-goers, that he was hurt and maybe undergoing surgery and word hadn’t reached his family yet.
Around 6:30 p.m. Monday, she got another call from her son, who had spent hours waiting to hear whether Austin was OK.
“My son said to me, ‘He didn’t make it,’” Haddox said. “It’s amazing how your life absolutely turns around in a flash.”
Austin was among the 59 people killed by a gunman who shot into a crowd of 22,000 at the festival. More than 500 people were injured.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help his family.
“Everybody loved him,” Haddox said, noting the outpouring of support on Facebook and GoFundMe.
She thanked people for loving her grandson, whom she described as a caring and well-liked person. She wanted people to know that family was important and to not put off visits with each other.
Haddox had planned to see her son and grandson in Riverside next spring, when she and her husband had recovered enough from their health problems to go.
Now, she’ll be traveling to her grandson’s funeral.
The GoFundMe page for the family of Austin Davis is at gofundme.com/austin-davis-29-lv-mass-shooting.