The unsung heroes of the Las Vegas shooting

Oct. 20, 2017, 2:26 p.m. | By Eric Feigen | 1 year, 4 months ago

Individuals who stepped up to save lives in historic Las Vegas shooting

On the night of October 1, Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire on a crowd of over 22,000 people attending the Route 19 Harvest music festival in Nevada, Las Vegas. During the attack, 489 people were injured and 58 were pronounced dead. The tragedy will resonate for years to come as the largest individual mass shooting in modern American history. During the terrorist attack, Americans protected and helped each other, coming together in a time of crisis. While the day will be remembered as of one of America's darkest hours, it will also be remembered as a reminder of American strength, unity and patriotism.

Dean McAuley

Against all odds, Dean McAuley, a Seattle firefighter , and his friends, had found a route to safety. As his friends ran and disappeared into the distance, McAuley turned around, heading back into the danger area. He rushed to find the nearest medical tent, helping two women find medical attention along the way.

Photo: Jonathan Smith was shot in the back and neck while running to aid others caught in the mass shooting.

One of these women was Natalia Bada, who was suffering heavy bleeding from a bullet in her arm. McAuley fashioned her a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and administered an IV to help her regain her strength and receive key nutrients she had lost. "She had a hard time breathing... I told her she could trust me and that I wouldn't let anything happen to her," McAuley said. To calm her down, McAuley showed her pictures of his wife, son and dog.

Later, when he returned to his home in Washington, he received a text from Baca's father thanking him and letting him know that both of his daughters were safe.

Reflecting on the tragedy, McAuley expressed how inspired he was to see everyone helping each other. "We all became one that night. I got to see one person at their worst, but I got to see and witness humanity at its best,” McAuley said.

James Lawson

Tom McIntosh and his wife were running for safety when a bullet pierced his leg. "I jumped over the wall and kind of walked trying to get away [but I was] bleeding really bad. My pants were already soaked and my shoe was full of blood,” McIntosh recalled.

James Lawson , an Army Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), stumbled upon McIntosh and his wife. He picked them up in the back of his pickup truck and drove them away from the shooting to safety. Lawson used his belt as a compression bandage to stem the flow of blood from McIntosh's leg. "I walked up there and he was actively bleeding… I adjusted the belt, tightened it down, stopped the bleeding… and [then] we took off to the hospital," Lawson said.

Later that night, the Today show found Lawson and arranged an on-camera reunion with McIntosh. McIntosh limped towards Lawson as quickly as possible with his injured leg and pulled him into a tight hug "Thanks buddy, I really appreciate it, I was terrified," McIntosh said.

Jonathan Smith
When the shooting started, bullets were flying in every direction. Jonathan Smith was first focused on getting his nieces to safety, but after they were out of danger, he ran back to help others still in the gunman's range. He weaved through the crowd screaming, "Active shooter, active shooter, let's go! We have to run!"

Photo: Tragedy struck on October 1st when Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire on Country Music Festival in Las Vegas

Smith ended up near a group of people taking cover behind a police patrol car. Two frightened girls were not fully hidden behind the car, and he yelled at them to duck, standing up to project his voice. While standing, a bullet pierced into his neck and back. An off duty police officer picked him up and took him to the hospital. On the ride over, Smith reported he couldn't breathe.

The doctors decided to leave the bullet in Smith's neck because it might cause more damage to take it out. "I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life," Smith said, his face contorted with pain. Despite the outcome, Smith was still glad he went back to help others. "I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”

Other Notable Individuals:

Carly Krygier acted as a human shield, protecting her daughter from the onslaught of bullets. They both made it out safely.

Sonny Melton died while using his body to protect his wife.

Addison Short had been shot in the leg and couldn't run. A stranger she didn't know slung her over his shoulder, carried her to a taxi and escorted her to the hospital. She never knew his name.

Krystal Goddard and Amy McAslin never asked the identity of the man who saved them. He had already been shot, but he shielded the women and held tight to them, taking another bullet to the leg.

In the days following the shooting, the lines to give blood circled for blocks...

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