Las Vegas shooting: Firefighter shot while giving CPR and US veterans ‘used fingers to plug bullet holes’ in fight to save victims

Warning: Article contains graphic content some may find upsetting

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 03 October 2017 13:01 BST
Las Vegas shooting: What we know so far

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Stories of the bravery shown during the deadliest mass shooting attack in modern US history have highlighted the work of US veterans and members of the emergency services who leapt into action to protect those around them, from a firefighter being shot and injured while performing CPR to ex-military members seen “plugging bullet holes with their fingers”.

Fifty-nine people were killed and 527 injured during the horrific attack carried out by Stephen Paddock, who opened fire on crowds during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas from his hotel room on Sunday night. Police later found the 64-year-old dead when they stormed his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Russell Bleck, who was in the VIP tent at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Sunday with his fiancée when the shooting broke out, told Today of the “bravery” he saw during the attack.

“You saw a lot of ex-military jump into gear. I saw guys plugging bullet holes with their fingers,” he told the programme.

“While everyone else was crouching, police officers [were] standing up at targets, just trying to direct people, tell them where to go. The amount of bravery I saw there, words can’t describe what it was like,” Mr Bleck said.

One ex-marine who was at the festival with friends fled when he realised the crowd was being shot at.

Taylor Winsont, a 29-year-old Iraq veteran, and friend Jenn Lewis commandeered a pick-up truck and helped take around 24 injured victims to the hospital.

Firefighter Steve Keys was shot while performing CPR on a woman at the concert. He shared a short video showing his wound and praised those working to help the victims.

He wrote on Facebook: “Prayers needed. Lots of people hit. A lot killed. Was doing CPR on a woman in the concert when I got grazed. I’m OK. But a lot of people aren’t. I am lucky. Stayed behind on the street to help people. Worked alongside a lot of f****** heroic men and women. Please, please please say prayers.”

Police are still working to establish a motive for the attack by Paddock, who was discovered to have been in possession of an arsenal of weaponry.

Officers recovered 16 guns from his hotel room, another 19 guns, explosives and rounds of ammunition at a property in Mequite, Las Vegas, and fertilizer ammonium nitrate – which can be turned into explosives – in his car.

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