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Local Las Vegas shooting survivors will come together to heal

Steve Munoz, a shooting survivor,  considers the event this weekend for survivors and families of the victims a big milestone. (KOMO News) 

SEATTLE(KOMO) — For the first time since the deadly Las Vegas shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, survivors from the Pacific Northwest are coming together as a large group to heal and be together.

"A lot of emotion," said Steve Munoz of Renton who survived the shooting. "I think a lot of people- for them it will be their first time getting into a big group like this and being together. I'm hoping that it can help."

Munoz was at the festival with his wife and five friends. They all escaped without physical injuries but they're still healing from the trauma.

"I think right now we're doing good as a whole," Munoz said. "There are moments where people say something will happen or something will trigger a memory or a nightmare will happen it kind of sparks something."

Munoz is also finding support through online groups with other survivors.

"Being able to talk with other people and help other people who needed just people to talk to- we are all strangers on Facebook, but yet we're connected," Munoz said. "We all consider ourselves a family because we were all involved in this."

Munoz said he is making small steps in his recovery, which has included listening to country music singer Jason Aldean again. When the gunman opened fire at the country music festival Aldean was on stage, and had just started singing 'When She Says Baby.'

"I couldn't hear that song for the longest time. It was hard- you heard gunshots, you heard people screaming, it was very eerie," Munoz said.

Munoz also considers the event this weekend for survivors and families of the victims a big milestone.

"I think it's a chance for us to come together, and I'm hoping that we can just be there for each other," Munoz said.

The event is part of the Love Wins non-profit organization that was formed after the shooting to support survivors and families of the victims The founder, who was a photographer at country music festival, started the organization as a way to heal. Since the shooting, he's been traveling around the country organizing events for survivors.

Almost four months after the shooting, Munoz still has questions about why this happened, especially after hearing on Friday that investigators still don't have a motive for the shooting.

"That is always going to be something that is going to weigh on me," Munoz said. "I want to know why but I also understand that we're never going to get that answer so I am OK with that part."

Instead, Munoz is focused on the survivors and the families of the victims. He returned to Las Vegas a month after the shooting, and plans to go back on the one-year anniversary.

"It's just remembering," he said. "We had 58 people lose their lives that night and I don't want that to ever be forgotten."

The private event for survivors and families of the victims is being held on Sunday at Thompson Seattle.

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