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Mykenzie Lane and Brandon Helmick were in attendance on the final night of the three-day festival on Oct. 1 when bullets began to fly during Jason Aldean's headlining set. A lone gunman firing into the crowd from a hotel adjacent to the concert site killed 58 people and injured more than 800 others during the rampage.
“The first round went off and he shielded me. Then he said we have to go,” 21-year-old Lane tells People. “He told me to run and I started jumping over fences and he ran in front of me and slid under a storage container and pulled me in.”
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But as she followed him under the storage container, Lane was hit in her left ankle by a bullet that went through her boot.
“The last thing that went under [the container] was my ankle, which is what got shot,” she says. “Brandon then carried me to an Uber where we got the ride to the hospital.”
The couple live in California, and they headed back home as soon as she was able so she could begin recovery. Her ankle has healed, but Lane says she still suffers pain at times.
“It affected us forever,” Lane says, adding that the shooting brought them even closer. “We don’t like to be apart for long periods of time, especially at night is the toughest because of flashbacks.”
Helmick proposed to Lane during a trip to Laguna Beach on April 20.
“We talked about it, so I kind of knew it was happening,” she says. “But when we got to the beach, there were rose petals in the shape of a heart where he got on one knee. I bawled like a baby and don’t remember anything he said!”
Lane is absolutely certain about their relationship, in no small part because Helmick risked his life for her.
“Our relationship has always been strong, but I always had doubts that he’d leave,” she says. “But I never doubt him after he put his life on the line for me.”
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