7 Ordinary people who behaved like heroes during the Las Vegas terror attack
In an act of senseless terrorism, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Sunday evening, killing at least 59 and wounding over 500 attendees of an open-air music festival in Las Vegas.
The shooting, which is now considered to be the deadliest in recent US history, took place during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. For nine minutes, bullets rained down on revellers while country singer Jason Aldean was performing. But despite the chaos and confusion, there are inspiring stories of selfless humanity to be told: in the midst of terror, several concert-goers put their lives in jeopardy to save perfect strangers
So in honour of all those affected, here are some of the most heroic tales to come out of the tragedy - it truly goes to show that in the troubled time we live in, there are still vestiges of good.
1. Jonathan Smith saved 30 people before being shot in the neck, and survived...
Jonathan Smith was attending the festival to celebrate his brother's 43rd birthday. After being separated from his family members in the commotion, Smith did his best to bring terrified people to safety. Allegedly, he repeatedly shouted "active shooter, active shooter, let's go! We have to run." After standing up to urge a group of young women to get on the ground, he was struck on the neck by a bullet. Thankfully, Smith and the rest of his family survived, however, it's likely that he will have to live with the bullet for the rest of his life as doctors fear that further injury could be caused if they attempt to remove it.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Smith said: "I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival."
2. Jack Beaton was shot and killed whilst shielding his wife, Laurie.
This Twitter post was shared by Jake Beaton. His father, Jack was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival with his wife, Laurie when bullets started rain down from the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Jake told Bakersfield now that his father "put Laurie on the ground and covered her with his body" when he was hit by the bullets, saving Laurie's life while tragically losing his own.
3. A Reddit user shared a photo of the man who took a bullet to save his sister
Reddit user tynation posted this photo to praise the unnamed man for his heroism. His sister has yet to come forward with further details.
4. Sonny Melton was killed after covering his wife, Heather
Sonny Melton was celebrating his first anniversary with his wife, Heather, when the attack occurred. Sonny started running with Heather, attempting to protect her from the bullets before he was fatally shot. “He saved my life... I felt him get shot in the back," Heather said. In a Facebook post, she wrote, "Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his."
5. Taylor Winston and Jenn Lewis transported around two dozen priority victims to hospital
Former marine Taylor Winston and his friend Jenn Lewis fled the scene unharmed before coming across a truck with keys inside. They started seeking out the injured and proceeded to transport them to the nearest hospital. "People needed to get out of there, and we tried the best we could to get as many as we could," Winston told the Daily Beast.
6. Firefighter, Steve Keys was hit by a bullet whilst performing CPR on an injured woman
Keys was one of the first responders at the scene. When performing CPR on a woman, he was grazed in the chest and stomach by a bullet. Keys continued to stay on the scene despite his injuries.
On Facebook he wrote, "prayers needed. Lot of people hit. A lot killed [...] I'm ok. But a lot of people aren't. I am lucky."
7. Mike McGarry threw himself on top of his children to protect them
Financial advisor Mike McGarry shielded his children with his body when shots began to ring out. "They're 20. I'm 53, I lived a good life," he said.
As ever, our thoughts lie with the victims and those affected by the Las Vegas shooting.