With at least 50 people killed, Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas will go down as one of the darkest moments in U.S. history. But brave first responders and concertgoers-turned-heroes provided a light.
In the early aftermath of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, witness told stories of police officers shielding citizens, military veterans plugging wounds and people turning their trucks into makeshift ambulances.
At least one Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer is among the dead and possibly other off-duty officers. Others were wounded.
In the face of the danger, officers and first responders quickly responded to the source of the shots, the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Breaking into the room, they found 64-year-old Stephen Paddock dead of what they believe was a self-inflicted gun wound.
Racing toward the shots
A Twitter user posted a short video of officers speeding toward the scene in care while the shots were still firing.
“THANK YOU to the brave Las Vegas police officers who raced towards an active shooter during this horrible mass shooting. #MandalayBay #LVMPD,” he said.
Along with the police, a fleet of ambulances sped through streets normally bustling with people enjoying themselves in one of America’s entertainment capitals.
‘Words can’t describe’ bravery
A witness described acts of heroism during the shooting and in the immediate aftermath in an interview with NBC: “It was everywhere. Thank God it was a country concert. You saw a lot of ex-military jumping into gear. I saw guys plugging bullet holes with their fingers. I saw police officers, while everyone else was crouching, police officers standing up as targets, just trying to direct people to tell them where to go. The amount of bravery I saw, words can’t describe what it was like.”
Trucks become ambulances
A slew of stories are emerging of people transporting people to hospitals using pickup trucks and personal vehicles. Civilians were offering them up with no reservations.
Blood banks filled
People not at the scene were still helping, packing local blood banks to fill a desperate need. The line to donate was going out of the door at one Nevada blood services center.