ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The mass shooting in Las Vegas is bringing back uncomfortable memories for Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate.
Tate, his wife and some Seattle Seahawks teammates survived a night at a bar that was sprayed with bullets in 2012. A 30-year-old man was killed and another man was wounded in the shooting that night in suburban Seattle.
"Especially with what’s going on in Vegas and all the things that we’re reading and hearing about, it’s something you definitely got to think about," Tate acknowledged Monday. "Right now, I don’t, you don’t feel safe unless you’re in your home."
Tate recalled responding to the sound of gunshots by shoving his wife, Elise, down and covering her on the ground. He said she sustained a concussion from the force of his protective move.
"I guess I didn’t know how strong I was, but I pushed her. I guess she hit her head," he said. "Looking back at it, if that’s the worst thing to happen, it’s a pretty good night for us."
Elise Tate posted a picture on Instagram from Las Vegas of a man covering a woman on the ground, and shared her memories.
"My heart breaks for all of the innocent lives at that concert," Tate wrote. "I was crying reading all of reports and videos. This scene is unimaginable. Only a few shots were fired but deadly in the shooting I was in, but in Vegas, there was 10 minutes of active rounds. I can’t stop thinking about the pain I went through and multiplying that by thousands for what these people have and are going through."
Tate lamented the fact that he always looks for a way to quickly get out of every building he enters because of his experience and similar ones like it over the last five-plus years.
"I heard about something last week back home in Tennessee, in Antioch. Someone went into a church and was killing people ," Tate said. "It’s just mind-blowing. I just don’t understand what’s going on. When we go in places, no matter we are, we try to look at the exits because you don’t have much time when stuff like that happens. We find the exits and if we’re out and about, we try to hang out within reach of the exits so we can get out of there quick."
Tate and his wife, who was his girlfriend when shots were fired at the bar in Washington, were hanging out with his teammates, brother and friends at "our typical spot on a Sunday night," after beating the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 23, 2012.
"I heard gunshots and I pushed Elise on the ground and got on top of her until the gunshots came to a halt," he recalled. "Then, we ran to a bathroom, into a bathroom stall until we felt it was safe. Elise, in the process, lost heels, lost her phone, had cut her foot pretty badly."
Broken glass on the ground sliced her foot, not bullets, but Tate didn’t know that at the time.
"I’m thinking, ‘Did she get shot?’ I just see blood in different places so I kind of freaked out," he said. "We took her to the hospital, which was not too far away. Had to bum a ride with a random person to get her to the hospital. They fixed her all up and mentally, she was traumatized. To this day, her hearing has been affected, very small, but one sound or tone kind of bothers her."