Like thousands of others, Braden Matejka thought he heard fireworks while listening to Jason Aldean perform at a packed festival in Las Vegas on Sunday. When he realized he heard bullets, he took off running with his family, but stopped short when something that felt like a “sledge hammer” hit him in the back of the head.
Matejka, 25, told Global News that what felt like a sledge hammer turned out to be a bullet that hit him as he ran hand-in-hand with his 23-year-old girlfriend, Amanda Homulus.
“I fell flat on my face, and she flew over top of me because I was holding her hand. I got up, and I was really, really dizzy and disoriented. I didn’t know where I was. I said, ‘Babe, I think I’ve been shot. She looked at the back of my head, and there was blood all the way down my shirt and my pants already.”
25-year-old Las Vegas mass shooting survivor Braden Matejka recounts horrors https://t.co/xC6f6rzHdT
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A stranger noticed Matejka’s profuse bleeding and stepped in to tie a t-shirt around his head. A police officer flagged down a car passing by and told driver, April Vasquez, that Matejka needed emergency medical help.
“I just said, ‘Put him in, just hurry,’” Vasquez recalled on Wednesday. “I knew we had to act quick. I myself barely missed getting shot, a bullet braised my back so I’m not sure how I kept it together. I felt like I was needing to help and my adrenaline, shock was so high.”
Matejka admitted that Vasquez sped to the hospital like a “bat out of hell,” but her quick thinking and fast driving likely saved his life.
“I don’t think I have ever seen someone drive so fast through the city, through red lights and got me there safe and sound within probably five minutes of this whole ordeal happening.” Matejka told AP.
Doctors released Matejka from the hospital on Wednesday, and although he’s still “dizzy and sore,” he’s expected to survive. Yet, since he can’t fly yet, he’s gearing up to make a 22-hour drive to his home in Canada. However, he isn’t complaining a bit. He considers himself one of the luckiest men on the planet and said that an angel must have been watching over them.
“Sunday night I not only had an angel in my arms making sure she didn’t get hit, but an angel on my shoulder as well. Someone was looking out for me and it wasn’t my time yet.”
[Feature Photo: AP/Robert Ray]