Orlando resident returns to Albany after mass shooting

Orlando resident returns to Albany after mass shooting
McKenney did not live far from the site of the mass shooting (Source: WALB)
McKenney did not live far from the site of the mass shooting (Source: WALB)
Tehenesia Bass (Source: WALB)
Tehenesia Bass (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany native left her Orlando home and returned to her hometown after the weekend of violence and disturbing events in Orlando. Ashlee McKenney has a friend who works at the Pulse Nightclub, who was there during the terror attack.

23-year-old Ashlee McKenney had been getting a lot of hugs and love since she returned to Albany from Orlando Thursday.

McKenney said the violence of the nation's worst mass shooting and other violent events over the weekend in Orlando made her know it was time to come home.

"That just sped up the process. I was already planning to come home. But once I heard about this I was like, let's see where the closest time for the Greyhound. And hopped on it," said McKenney.

McKenney lived just 12 minutes from the Pulse nightclub, and a close friend is a valet there. When she heard about the shooting, concern over his safety began a long night of worry.

"I ended up calling my friend over and over again. No answer. No answer on the phone," said McKenney. "And then finally hours later I guess he was able to somehow get his phone from crime scene. He said he left it up there in the valet booth."

During the terror attack McKenney spent a lot of time on the phone with her mother.

"I told her to get in the house and be safe and didn't come out," said Tehenesia Bass. "Because you just don't know what's going to happen."

McKenney said being home and talking about the weekend of violence in Orlando is helping, but she is not sure if she will return to live in Orlando.

"If this is happening here, then I need to find somewhere else to go. So I can't be comfortable there where everything is supposed to be great," said McKenney.

McKenney said she was very glad that so much support from around the world is pouring into Orlando.

"I'm not sure. I just want her to stay home until she is comfortable enough. I'm not sure if I want her to go back," said Bass.

For now, the family is just glad Ashlee is safe and they are all together.

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