Kristi Almanzar was asleep in her Tustin home Sunday, Oct. 1 when her phone rang at 10:19 p.m.
“Mom! I’ve been shot!” Mykenzie Lane, 21, screamed.
The only advice the middle school teacher could muster was, “Run!” Her daughter hung up with the words, “I’ll do what I can. Love you.”
Fortunately, Lane’s injury in the Las Vegas mass shooting is not life-threatening. The Foothill High graduate checked out of the hospital early Monday morning with a bullet still embedded in her left foot.
In the chaos, Almanzar waited 15 torturous minutes before she heard from Lane’s boyfriend, Brandon Helmick, 20, of Rancho Santa Margarita. Her daughter was on her way to the hospital, Helmick told her.
“I was hysterical,” Almanzar, 42, said. “She’s my only child.”
Lane and Helmick started running when they heard the second round of shots.
“People were falling all around us,” Lane said.
During their escape, she felt the shocking sting of the bullet. Moments later, briefly hiding behind a car, she called her mother.
“I didn’t want her to learn about this on the news,” she said.
After flagging down an ambulance, Lane said she quickly realized others were in more desperate need.
“People had been shot in the head,” she said. “I thought, you know what, compared to this, I’m OK. So I told the driver to go on without me.”
She and Helmick ended up thumbing a ride to the hospital in a passenger car.
By the time Almanzar could fly into Las Vegas Monday morning, Lane already had relocated to her uncle’s house. The Cal State Dominguez Hills student will undergo surgery this week back in Orange County.
Her mother will never forget the phone call, at once horrifying and touching.
“I didn’t need anything to confirm our close relationship,” Almanzar said. “But that call speaks volumes.”