Las Vegas Sun

May 21, 2019

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Strip shooting victim strives to regain normalcy, law enforcement career

Lori and Todd Kammer

Mick Akers

Lori Kammer, injured in the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip on Oct. 1, 2017, and her husband, Todd, are employees of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In this Oct. 12, 2017, file photo, she is pictured at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

When Lori Kammer left Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in October 2017, she was in a wheelchair, unable to walk after a two-week stay. During her next visit in May, she hobbled in with the help of a walker. In September, she walked in on her own power.

Kammer, a 17-year-veteran with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in Norwalk, Calif., was shot in the left hip during the Oct. 1 mass shooting on the Strip. The bullet shattered her pelvis and ripped through her small and large intestines before lodging near her pancreas.

She’s been fighting to regain a sense of normalcy since becoming a victim of the worst mass shooting in modern American history, which left 58 people dead and more than 800 wounded. A gunman opened fire from a Strip hotel tower into a crowd of people at a country music concert across the street.

“I’m just walking a lot better, but I’m still recovering,” she said. “I still have a long way to go.”

Kammer and her husband, Todd, a sergeant with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, are still uncomfortable in large crowds and try to avoid them.

“It’s hard at times,” Lori Kammer said. “We haven’t gone to any concerts.”

The only big event they’ve attended since the shooting was a Golden Knights playoff game in May, during a trip to Las Vegas to visit the hospital workers who helped save Lori’s life.

“The crowd there was hard to be around,” Lori Kammer said.

They also stopped at the Las Vegas Village festival grounds, the site of the shooting, bringing back a flood of memories. “It was very, very emotional,” Lori Kammer said.

Still undergoing physical rehabilitation, she has yet to return to work.

Her husband, after initially taking time off to care for her, has returned to duty. But he is still there whenever his wife needs him, just as he was there to lead her to safety during the shooting and at her bedside in the hospital.

“Her husband was by her side the whole time,” said Mary Toftey, a nurse at Sunrise. “He was great to all of us.”

Todd Kammer had high praise for Toftey and the Sunrise team, who tended to his wife’s medical and emotional needs.

“Mary was a second shoulder to lean on,” he said. “The nursing staff and doctors here were second to none. That’s why we came back in May, to show them how much we appreciate them, for not only us, but all the survivors that were here.”

All the work Lori Kammer doing to regain her full physical abilities is focused on getting back to the career she loves.

“I want to return to work,” she said. “That’s the ultimate goal — being back to work, full duty.”