When 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, 29 people were killed and another 500 were injured. The largest mass shooting in American history, the Las Vegas massacre has been plastered all over the news since it happened (and rightly so.)
But in times of horror like this, we need to remember those people who risked and sacrificed their lives to save others.
“There were so many people, just normal citizens, doctors, cops, paramedics, nurses, just off-duty. Everyone’s just communicating and working together,” said a festival-goer Vanessa. “It was completely horrible, but it was absolutely amazing to see all the people come together.”
These are their stories.
30-year-old copy machine repairman Jonathan Smith was shot in the neck while saving others from the mass shooting. Smith was originally focused on getting his nieces out safely, but when everyone got separated, he turned his focus to other frightened guests. He grabbed people and told them to follow him and brought them all to safety.
“I got a few people out of there,” Smith said. “You could hear the shots. It sounded like it was coming from all over Las Vegas Boulevard.”
Smith noticed some young girls were not totally shielded, so he stood up to urge them to move and get on the ground. That’s when he was shot.
“I couldn’t feel anything in my neck. There was a warm sensation in my arm,” said Smith. “I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life.”
But Smith says he’s not a hero.
“I don’t see myself that way,” he said. “I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”
A nurse from Tennessee, Sonny Melton lost his life which protecting his wife during the shooting. Heather Melton says she knew the moment her husband was about to die.
“He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,” she told WSMV. “I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”
Melton says she lost her true love and knight in shining armor.