A man went viral after he was shot in an act of heroism that saved the lives of about 30 people in the Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest shooting in American history which claimed the lives of at least 50 and injured over 500.
The Washington Post shared the incredible story of Jonathan Smith, 30, who drove with his family to the Route 91 Country Music Harvest Festival all the way from Orange County, Calif. to celebrate his older brother’s birthday. Like many others, Smith believed the first shots to be fireworks. But when the shots continued and the lights turned off, Smith jumped into action.
Smith’s brother, Louis Rust, told the family to hold hands and run while Smith looked for his nieces who were separated in the chaos. In the process of running towards the stage, Smith shouted “Active shooter, active shooter, let’s go! We have to run,” to the people around him. He directed people around him towards a handicapped parking lot area where they all crouched down behind cars. When he stood up to tell a few young girls to get on the ground, a bullet went through his neck.
Smith credits an off-duty San Diego police officer for saving his life. The officer tried to stop the bleeding and flagged down a pickup truck that took him to the hospital. Smith survived his injuries, though he may have to live with a bullet in his neck for the rest of his life. He also suffered a fractured collarbone, a cracked rib and a bruised lung. Smith was able to reconnect with his family and later said that he didn’t see himself as a hero, he was simply doing what he’d want someone else to do for him.
On Tuesday, he told the TODAY show, “I decided that I’m not going to leave anybody behind.”