A handful of people being heralded as saviors arose among the terrible tragedy that occurred Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas.
Jonathon Smith, 30, emerged as one of those heroes amid the devastation the shooter brought to Sin City.
Smith, a copy machine repairman, will be permanently affected by the events that occurred at the Route 91 music festival.
The 30-year-old was struck by a bullet while saving lives under a rain of gunfire. He will likely have to live with the bullet stuck painfully in his neck for the rest of his life.
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) October 2, 2017
Smith said that he was attending the festival with his family, celebrating his brother’s 43rd birthday. The family sat close to the stage during Jason Aldean’s performance, according to The Washington Post.
Like the other concert-goers, Smith initially thought he heard fireworks when the gunfire began. When Jason Aldean ran off stage and the lights went out, he knew something was wrong.
Smith acted quickly and told all nine of his family members to hold hands and run, but they were separated in the chaos. When he turned back towards the stage to look for them, he saw panicked people crouching behind a sheriff’s patrol car, and others frozen in fear. He immediately began trying to get people to move to safety.
“Active shooter, active shooter, let’s go! We have to run,” he yelled.
He took some people with him to a handicapped parking lot away from Las Vegas Boulevard, and they crouched behind one of the last rows of cars.
“I got a few people out of there. You could hear the shots. It sounded like it was coming from all over Las Vegas Boulevard,” he said.
Smith said when he saw that a group of young girls weren’t hidden well, he stood up and told them to get low to the ground; that’s when got struck in the neck by a bullet.
“I couldn’t feel anything in my neck. There was a warm sensation in my arm.”
Smith believes an off-duty police officer from San Diego saved his life that night. The officer rushed over to Smith and tried to stanch the bleeding. He eventually flagged a passing truck carrying other victims, and put Smith, struggling to breathe, in the back to be taken to a hospital.
The 30-year-old was released from the Sunrise Hospital Monday afternoon, with the bullet still in his body.
With a fractured collarbone, a cracked rib, and a bruised lung, doctors are too afraid to remove the bullet for fear of causing even more damage.
“I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life.”
Smith, declared a hero of the Las Vegas massacre, said he doesn’t consider himself one.
“I don’t see myself that way. I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”
Fifty-nine people died and over 500 were injured Sunday in what’s now considered the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
[Feature Photo: Twitter]