Monday 22 January 2018

'What's it like being shot at?' Poignant last Facebook post of Las Vegas shooting victim

In his last public post, one of the victims of Sunday's Las Vegas massacre talked about what is like to be shot at from his time in the Navy

Chris Roybal (Image via Facebook)
Chris Roybal (Image via Facebook)

Chris Graham

Having served in Afghanistan, Chris Roybal had some idea of what it is like being shot at.

Yet all his experience as a Navy veteran was not enough to save his life in Las Vegas on Sunday night when Stephen Paddock sprayed a crowd of concertgoers with bullets from the 32nd-floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

The 28-year-old was among at least 59 victims who died in the worst shooting in modern US history.

In his last public post on Facebook, shared three months ago, Mr Roybal wrote about what it was like to be constantly asked: “What’s it like to be shot at?”.

"What's it like being shot at?" A question people ask because it's something that less that 1% of our American...

Posted by Christopher Roybal on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"My response has always been the same, not one filled with a sense of pride or ego, but an answer filled with truth and genuine fear/anger," he wrote.

Recalling his first fire fight, he said he was not sure how to feel.

"It was never fear, to be honest, mass confusion. Sensory overload...followed by the most amount of natural adrenaline that could never be duplicated through a needle. I was excited, angry and manic. 

"Unfortunately, as the fights continue and as they as increase in numbers and violence, that excitement fades and the anger is all that's left.

"The anger stays, long after your friends have died, the lives you've taken are buried and your boots are placed neatly in a box in some storage unit. Still covered in the dirt you've refused to wash off for fear of forgetting the most raw emotions you as a human being will ever feel again.

"What's it like to be shot at? It's a nightmare no amount of drugs, no amount of therapy and no amount of drunk talks with your war veteran buddies will ever be able to escape."

Mr Roybal’s friend Matthew Austin wrote on Facebook that the two joined the Navy when they were “just boys.”

“It breaks my heart and infuriates me that a veteran can come home from war unharmed and events like these occur,” Austin wrote.

“Shipmate you were taken much to soon, and my thoughts and prayers are with your family. Rest easy friend. You have been relieved and we have the watch.”

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