LAS VEGAS – Two women caught in the middle of the Las Vegas shooting recalled how their lives were saved by a stranger who shielded them from a hail of bullets with his own body.
Krystal Goddard was in Vegas with her roommate when Stephen Paddock began his shooting spree in which 59 people were killed and another 527 were injured Sunday night in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Goddard and Amy McAslin were standing by the stage when they began to hear bullets whizzing through the air during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival.
Running for their lives through the crowd, the pair dived for cover and sought refuge under a table as the bullets continued to fly by.
Packed together tightly, Goddard, 35, held onto McAslin, who was shielded by a stranger who had already been wounded.
“He told [McAslin] that he’d been shot,” Goddard said. “He had expressed to her that he didn’t think he was going to make it.”
As he bled out onto McAslin’s shirt, they held on tight, while chanting: “Everything is going to be OK.”
Neither Goddard nor McAslin know what happened to the stranger after he was taken away on a stretcher by paramedics.
Wearing a white shirt stained with the blood of the man who had placed his body in the way, McAslin made a dash for safety with Goddard by her side.
“We just ran barefoot through the fairgrounds out to the street,” Goddard said. “Running as fast as we could possibly through the fairgrounds… All we could think about is getting the f*** out of there.”
Goddard was not the only the one to benefit from heroism as bullets rained down on the Vegas strip from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
An off-duty nurse ran back into the danger to help rescue those who had suffered gunshot wounds.
She told of how she was one of a whole number of people who risked their lives to save others.
“We went back because I’m a nurse and I felt I had to,” she told CNN affiliate KTNV.
“I went to three different scenes and by the time I got to the third one, there was just dead bodies,” she said.
“There was so many people, just normal citizens, doctors, cops, paramedics, nurses, just off duty. Everyone was just communicating and working together.
“It was completely horrible, but it was absolutely amazing to see all of those people come together.”
In the midst of the shooting, 18-year-old Addison Short tried to make a run for it.
But Short’s knee gave way: “I just got shot, I can’t run,” she cried out.
She dived into a bar for cover: “You kept hearing gunshots. They just weren’t stopping,” she said.
From her hospital bed, she told CNN how a man used his belt to wrap her leg in a tourniquet and rush her to safety
“He just picked me up and threw me over his shoulder,” Short said.
The man carried her to a taxi that took her to the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, where she was being treated Monday.
“It was just the scariest experience of my life,” Short said.
Lindsay Padgett and her fiance Mark Jay rushed back to their truck to help transport the wounded to hospital.
The pair loaded up the injured and CNN affiliate KTNV how they drove through roadblocks to meet up with ambulances.
Jay described how one man had been shot in the chest and was using his fingers to fill holes.
The video of them rescuing people went viral online with viewers describing their actions as heroic.
But Padgett played down couple’s role in ferrying the injured out of danger.
“I just feel like that’s what you do,” she told Action News.
“When people need help, you have to take them to the hospital.
Meanwhile, as the crowds began to scatter, Mike Cronk stood his ground and tried to help his friend who had taken three bullets to the chest.
“Most people started scattering and they climbed the fence, but I had to stay with my buddies,” he said.
“We got him over the fence once the firing stopped and slid him under a stage so we were safe.
“My first thoughts were for my buddy. I wanted to make sure he was taken care of. But, you know, we were pretty much yelling at everybody to stay down. That was what we needed to do.”