“Thank you so much.”
So began the emotional reunion between Addison Short, a young woman who was shot in the Las Vegas massacre, and Jamie Jackson, the hero who placed his own life in danger to save her.
From her hospital bed Monday, Short, 18, recounted being shot in the leg and her dramatic rescue, telling Anderson Cooper an unknown good Samaritan used his belt to wrap her leg to stop the bleeding before carrying her away from the the hail of bullets.
“Please, get me out of here,” she remembered saying to the man, a stranger to her. “[H]e just picked me up and threw me over his shoulder,” eventually delivering her to an off-duty police officer who put her in a taxi to the hospital.
“I hope the guy that helped me is watching,” she added Monday. “I just really want to tell him how grateful I am for basically saving my life.”
On Wednesday, she got that chance. Jackson wasn’t watching but said he discovered Short’s identity when his mother-in-law saw the interview on CNN.
In his own telling of the night’s horrific events, Jackson said he and his wife dove for cover when shots began to ring out. It was there, on the ground, where he said he encountered Short, her boot “soaked through with blood.”
“Right above us, we could hear, probably like four or five feet above our head, bullets going off the stanchions that were there,” he said.
When he realized Short couldn’t walk, he threw her over his back and carried her to safety, eventually leaving her with an off-duty police officer who sent her to the hospital in a taxi.
When Short and Jackson finally met on Wednesday, the reunion was short and sweet.
“You have no idea how much I appreciate you guys,” Short told Jackson and his wife.
“I’m glad we could help,” he replied.
“I was worried,” Jackson added. “[T]he whole night, until I saw the news article, I like was freaking out.”
“I was worried about you guys, so I was just hoping you were okay,” she said.
On Sunday evening, 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 killed 58 people and wounded about 500 others. A nurse, a special education teacher and kindergarten teacher are among the dead. Police are still trying to piece together a motive.
The gunman killed himself in his hotel room, where police found 23 guns, said Clark County Nevada Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo.
“We believe Paddock is solely responsible for this heinous act,” Fasulo said.