UF student shot in Las Vegas returns home after being treated

Kristin Babik treated for bullet wound, collapsed lung, broken rib

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A University of Florida law student who was shot in the back during the mass shooting in Las Vegas says it's going to take a while for her life to return to normal.

Kristin Babik sat down with News 6 on Thursday, two days after returning home to Gainesville from Las Vegas, where she was being treated for a bullet wound, a collapsed lung and a broken rib.

"At first, I was really scared to get back to normal because my world was flipped upside down," she said. "But every day it feels a little more like home."

Babik said her brother and family friends drove a recreational vehicle to Las Vegas to pick her up and drive her home. She said her doctors wouldn't let her fly because of her collapsed lung.

"We left Saturday night, and we drove straight through to get back here. We were in the RV for about two days," she said.

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Before she left Las Vegas, she said she stopped at a memorial for those who lost their lives in the shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival.

"I actually painted a tile at the memorial garden in Vegas, and I put a quote from Corinthian's: Let light shine out of darkness," she said.

Now home, Babik told News 6 she has two new fears: Crowds and concerts. She said she has tickets to see Florida Georgia Line on Friday night in Tampa.

"I was like, yeah! I got to go to Route 91 and then two weeks later, I'll be seeing Florida Georgia Line. I always wanted to see them, and unfortunately, I can't be in crowds right now, especially in the same kind of setting.

"Whenever I close my eyes, I see the moment right before the shots started firing. I close my eyes, and I can see everyone around me and Jason Aldean on stage. Everyone was having so much fun, and then it turns to total chaos," she said. "So crowds, right now, are probably not a good idea, but I'm hoping that feeling goes away. Some day."

Babik said her law professors at UF are working with her in completing assignments and keeping her on track to graduate in May.

"It is hard for me to be in class for a long time, sitting or in crowds," she said. "I have a class where there's like 100 people in it, so they been very accommodating, so I can still be up-to-date on the lecture and what's going on if I can't attend class."

News 6 asked Babik if she feels gun laws should be changed in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.

"There has to be something done," she said. "They can't just do nothing. I'm not the person to say what that 'something' is. I'm more angry that this person, individually, felt that he could do what he did."

She said she had a message for the other victims of the shooting.

"I want you guys to know that he's not going to win," she said. "The light always shines through the darkness. It'll go away."

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