Acts of Heroism Saved Lives During Las Vegas Massacre

'It takes the worst of America to also see the best of America'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2017 3:21 AM CDT
Vegas Heroes Saved Scores of Lives
Police run to cover at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

As investigators try to piece together a motive behind Sunday night's massacre in Las Vegas, stories of heroism are emerging. Rusty Dees says that after gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, concertgoers tried to take care of each other amid the panic and bloodshed. "It takes the worst of America to also see the best of America. Everybody was helping each other," he tells CNN. Other concertgoers say that as they desperately tried to get out of the gunman's line of fire, strangers tried to pull others to safety and to hold injured people's wounds closed. More:

  • Lawmakers and faith leaders were among those at a vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall on Monday evening, where 59 candles were lit—one for each of the people killed in the rampage, the Las Vegas Sun report. "What has come about is beyond heartbreaking," said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

  • Officials say acts of heroism probably saved scores of lives during the massacre, the AP reports. Rob Ledbetter, a 42-year-old former Army sniper, says his battlefield instincts kicked in and after making his way to safety, he performed first aid on multiple victims with bullet wounds.
  • The New York Times looks at what it calls the "controlled chaos" at trauma centers after victims started flooding in on Sunday, and at the horrific conditions emergency workers faced. "They were exposed to significant trauma, things that are very, very unusual—a lot of deaths, a lot of injury, a lot of hysteria in one place, a lot of tragedy, so quite frankly many of them will probably be dealing with this for the rest of their lives," says deputy fire chief Jeff Buchanan.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May has praised a group of British soldiers trained in treating battlefield injuries who rushed to help victims. They had been on R&R after training with American troops in California. "Due to their experience, the guys who heard the noise knew instantly it was gunfire," a source tells the Daily Mirror. "Their training immediately kicked in and they rushed to the festival to help."
  • The Los Angeles Times has stories of some of the victims, including a commercial fisherman and a Disneyland worker. Emergency medical technician Travis Phippen carried his injured father to safety despite having been shot in the arm. John Phippen later died from his injuries. "He was my best friend," Travis says. "He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle. He was the biggest teddy bear I knew."
  • One of the heroes whose stories White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recounted Monday was Mike McGarry, who jumped on top of his children when the firing started, NBC reports. "They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," he later said. Sanders also mentioned Sonny Melton, a nurse who died saving his wife.
(More Las Vegas shooting stories.)

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