Las Vegas shooting survivor who lives 4 blocks from Garlic Festival offering help to Gilroy survivors

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- In addition to those who were killed and wounded in the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, there are also thousands of survivors who escaped unharmed but now have to deal with the psychological aftermath of being there during a mass shooting.

There are few people who understand that more than Tiffany Thomas -- a Las Vegas shooting survivor who lives four blocks from the Garlic Festival.

RELATED: 7 victims remain hospitalized from Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

After the shooting, Thomas posted on Facebook offering help to those in her community who need it.

"I posted that if you need somebody to talk to, talk to me, because I've been there," Thomas told ABC7 News. "All the people that were there that night in Las Vegas, all the people in Gilroy that heard those sounds, they will forever be in your head."

Thomas said she has received messages from people asking how to help their family members who survived the shooting.

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She said her number one piece of advice for survivors is not underestimate how you're feeling, to seek counseling and to give yourself the space you need.

"When you're ready to talk about it, you will," she said, "But don't ever tell anybody to just get over it, because people did tell me that and that is the worst thing."

"Because you will never, ever be the same," she continued, "You'll never be the same person after you go through something like that."

RELATED: Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: 3 victims killed were all under 30, authorities say

Thomas also said going to community events -- for her, it was the healing garden in Las Vegas -- can be helpful, too.

"Go to the vigil even if you're standing in the background and you're not holding a candle. At least you're there." she said, "And to feel that sense of community and to feel that family in Gilroy, like the Gilroy family, is so healing."

Get the latest on the deadly Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting here.
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