Love in a time of terror: Stories of bravery during the Las Vegas shootout

 Love in a time of terror: Stories of bravery during the Las Vegas shootout

THE night of October 1 left us all in shock and devastation. With at least 59 people killed and more than 500 injured, the mass shooting in Las Vegas will go down as one of the darkest moments in U.S. history. Filled with horror and uncertainty, it was the darkest night in Las Vegas and one of the most horrifying scenes you never wish to see in your lifetime. But brave first responders and concertgoers-turned-heroes provided a light and showed love in a time of terror.

I’ve been hearing stories about police officers shielding citizens, military veterans plugging wounds, people who used their bodies to shield bullets, and those who turned their trucks into makeshift ambulances. These acts of bravery bring back whatever ounce of faith in humanity I have left.

One woman told ABC News that she loaded as many as six people into her car, some of whom needed immediate medical attention, and took them to the hospital. KRCA reported that people who were not at the concert also sprung into action donating blood and stocking local food banks.

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus praised everyone who helped after the shooting in a statement she released on Twitter. “The brave Las Vegas police officers who raced towards an active shooter during this horrible mass shooting. My hearts aches for the victims, their loved ones, and our community. I am grateful for law enforcement’s swift response and the many good Samaritans whose selfless acts of bravery showcased Las Vegas’ values to the world.”

The first responders and the selfless civilians who willingly extended help that night have shown us that there are still good people out there. I heard about a man who shielded his wife to protect her from the bullets that pierced his back and claimed his life. Another woman shielded her younger brother during the shooting. In an interview she recalled, “Every time the crowd got up the shooting started again. I was laying on my brother shielding him. I’m 30, he’s 21. I love him to death; he has more life to live,” Channel News Asia quoted concert-goer Corrine Lomas as saying.

A witness told ABC News that he helped at least three people who were injured by the shooter get loaded into ambulances, and he held another victim who died in his arms.

Then there’s this 53-year-old man by the name of Mike McGarry who reportedly used his body as a human shield to protect younger concert-goers from the spray of bullets that rained down on the country concert on the Las Vegas strip.

“It was crazy — I laid on top of the kids. They’re 20. I’m 53. I lived a good life,” McGarry said in an interview with Channel News Asia. His act of selflessness is the reason those kids were able to go home to their worried parents.

President Donald Trump was quick to issue a statement thanking everyone who helped and went above and beyond – to the point of death – to protect the lives of others.

“I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous effort and helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous… It shows what true professionalism is all about,” he said.

More and more stories of bravery are being told and while that terrifying night is one that would forever haunt the streets of Las Vegas, it is also the day that the truest and purest form of love was shown. And hopefully, this is where we draw our hope from. For it is through the sacrifice of these people that someone still gets to hug their loved ones, or that young kid can still live another day and dream of being a brave paramedic or police officer.

I’ve been to Las Vegas several times. Some times with friends, other times by myself. Never in those times have I ever imagined that one day I’d be looking at those familiar streets with tears in my eyes. I guess it’s no longer safe anywhere. Tragedies like this can strike any second at any place. Sad to say but this is now the world we live in. Yet, as I end this piece, I want to leave my readers something to ponder on: In such a time where all we see is darkness, let’s remember that the smallest yet purest act of love could bring so much light and hope. To those who are grieving the loss of their friends and family, I give my condolences. May you be comforted in this trying time.

***

Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com

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