Just 2 nights ago, a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing at least 59 and injuring more than 500. Despite the chaos that erupted over the crowd during the horrific event, several brave people risked their own personal safety to help others, and managed to save multiple lives.
The shooting, which is now being called the worst in modern US history, took place during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Shots began ringing out at the end of a performance by country star Jason Aldean, which were later determined to have come from the window of a hotel room in the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort. The perpetrator, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, shot himself an hour after the massacre, just before police could apprehend him.
In honor of all victims and their loved ones, we’ve collected the most heroic stories from the harrowing night below, and we hope you’ll read each one in memory of the sacrifices they made.
Jonathan Smith was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival to celebrate his brother’s 43rd birthday.The copy machine repairman from Orange County, CA, initially thought he was hearing fireworks as Jason Aldean finished his song, but when the country singer ran off the stage, the music stopped, and the lights went out, it was clear what was really happening.
In the stampede of fleeing concertgoers that followed, Smith ended up separated from all 9 of his accompanying family members, but still did his best to corral groups of terrified people and usher them to safe hiding places.“Active shooter, active shooter, let’s go! We have to run,” he repeatedly shouted.
When he stood up to urge a group of young girls to get on the ground, a bullet struck him in the neck.An off-duty San Diego police officer helped to stop his bleeding until help arrived. Though Smith thankfully survived, as did his entire family, he may have to live with a bullet in the side of his neck for the rest of his life, as doctors feared further injury if they tried to displace it.
“I would want someone to do the same for me.No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival,” Smith told Washington Post.
#2 If Everyone Could Please Pray For My Dad And Everyone Else At The Rout 91 He Jumped In Front Of My Mom And Got Shot
#3 Former Marine Taylor Winston And His Friend, Jenn Lewis, Found A Truck With Keys In It And Transported About 2 Dozen Priority Victims To The Hospital
#4 This Man Took A Bullet While Protecting My Sister From The Gunfire In Vegas
Sonny Melton, a nurse from Big Sandy, Tennessee, was celebrating his first wedding anniversary with his wife, Heather, when the gunshots broke out.Sonny grabbed Heather and began running, shielding her from harm, but was fatally shot in the process.
“He saved my life… I felt him get shot in the back,” Heather told a Tennessee radio station.She went on to write that she had lost her “true love and knight in shining armor” in a mournful Facebook post. “Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met.
He saved my life and lost his.”
#6 New Mother Takes A Bullet After Leaping On Her Stricken Boyfriend’s Body To Shield Him…
#7 Firefighter Steve Keys Was Shot While Performing CPR On A Woman At The Concert
“Prayers needed.Lot of people hit.
A lot killed,” firefighter Steve Keys wrote in an emotional Facebook post.One of the first responders at the scene of the shooting, he was performing CPR on a wounded woman when a bullet grazed his chest and stomach. Despite the fact that he was bleeding, Keys stayed on-site and continued helping whoever he could, and was later picked up by a friend and driven to be treated.
“I’m ok.But a lot of people aren’t. I am lucky,” he further wrote.
#9 Retired Teacher Mike Cronk Braved Gunfire And Used His Shirt To Stop Bleeding Of His Friend Who Had Been Shot Three Times
#10 Iraq War Veteran Chris Bethel Helped Direct Cops To Vegas Shooter’s Room
Chris Bethel, an Iraq war veteran, was in Las Vegas for an IT conference and staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort when he heard gunshots just 2 floors up from his hotel room.He called the police, not knowing at that point that right above him a man was committing the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, firing a hail of bullets onto a crowd at a nearby country music festival.
“I crouched by my front door, in hopes that I might get the opportunity to see the shooter if he ran by and I could identify him,” he told CBS News.Bethel’s call would later help the police trace the shooter’s location, where they found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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