LAS VEGAS – Addison Short and a friend tried to run for safety when they heard the pop of gunfire during Jason Aldean’s performance Sunday night. But Short’s knee buckled. “I just got shot, I can’t run,” she cried out.
The shooter firing from the window of a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip had shot her in the leg. It hurt. Blood gushed from the wound.
“You go, just go get somewhere safe,” Short told her friend, who escaped the bullets raining down from a shooter authorities identified as Stephen Paddock, 64.
From her hospital bed on Monday, Short recalled how she was wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history — and rescued. A good Samaritan wrapped her leg in a tourniquet and whisked her out of harm’s way, she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC 360.”
Police said Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, killed 58 people and wounded about 500 others. A nurse, a special education teacher and kindergarten teacher are among the dead. Police are trying to piece together a motive.
Paddock killed himself in his hotel room, where police found 23 guns, said Clark County NV Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo. Fasulo said another 19 guns were found in the gunman’s Mesquite home, where police searched.
“We believe Paddock is solely responsible for this heinous act,” Fasulo said.
‘You kept hearing gunshots’
Short, 18, said people paused when they heard the gunshots at the Las Vegas Village, a 15-acre greenspace outside the MGM Grand hotel. Concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival thought it sounded fireworks, she told.
That’s when Short and her friend turned around and started running. Short said she dove under a bar to take cover.
“You kept hearing gunshots. They just weren’t stopping,” she said.
‘Please get me out of here’
As she lay wounded, Short said the good Samaritan used his belt to wrap her leg, an attempt to stop the bleeding. She wanted to talk to her mother.
“Please get me out of here,” she said to the man, a stranger to her.
“He just picked me up and threw me over his shoulder,” said Short, a Las Vegas resident. The man carried her to a taxi that took her to the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
“It was just the scariest experience of my life,” Short said.
As she sat in her hospital bed, she thought about the people who lost their lives and those who were severely injured.
Short said her mother, a police officer, usually works the festival. She had signed up to work it again this year but didn’t get duty this time.
“I don’t know what I would’ve done if she was there and she would have got hurt, too,” Short said.