OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- For months, Denise Putthoff had been looking forward to showering her best friend, Carrie Dwyer and Dwyer's fiance, Brad Eldridge with a special wedding gift: tickets to see country music star, Jason Aldean in concert in Las Vegas.
"Yeah, mom had been planning the trip for Carrie for a long time. They're the best of friends and the trip was mom's gift to Carrie and Brad because their engaged to be married. Mom called me and said they were having a great time. She sent me pictures of the different performers," said Jennifer Putthoff of Overland Park.
However, late Sunday night the two couples' weekend getaway trip suddenly turned into a nightmare they'll never forget.
Police say 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired off rapid gunfire from the 32nd floor of a popular, Las Vegas hotel right into a crowd of more than 20,000 people.
Like so many people, Denise Putthoff, her husband, Jim Neubrander and their friends, Carrie Dwyer and Brad Eldridge all ran for their lives.
Jennifer Putthoff says just after midnight her frantic mom called her and told her they were all running for cover.
"She said they got separated. She ran off to a Hooters Restaurant and that's where two strangers, two men quickly lowered a ladder from the side of the building. Mom quickly climbed it to the roof and then just lied there on top until it was safe. My step-dad somehow employees at the Hooters rushed him inside a walk-in freezer where he hid," recalled Jennifer Putthoff.
"I've never heard my mom talk like that ever in my life. The fear in her voice, she was so afraid that it scared me to death," said Jeremy Alan.
Meantime, the couple's friends, Carrie Dwyer and her fiance raced to a Top Golf business where they were safe. Amid all the chaos and carnage, Carrie suffered an asthma attack and had to be rushed to a hospital.
"She was just so traumatized by all of that and what was going on around them that she suffered that asthma attack. I'm just so thankful that they're all okay. It's still so difficult to understand why that happened. No one should have to go through that. I'm just so grateful we still have my mom, but so many of people woke up this morning without their moms, because they lost their lives during all that shooting," said Jennifer Putthoff with tears in her eyes.
"Mom was so lucky. God was with her. I can't wait to hug her when she flys back to Kansas City," says Jeremy Alan.
Denise Putthoff and her husband live are from New Jersey. Carrie Dwyer and her fiance live in Blue Springs.