Las Vegas shooting victim from SoCal helped save more than a dozen lives
BUENA PARK, Calif. (FOX 11) - Wiping away tears, still wearing his hospital bracelets and the admission band from the concert venue, Las Vegas shooting survivor Jonathan Smith reflected on the horror of last Sunday night.
"A lot of people lost their lives for no reason and it sucks," said Jonathan Smith.
The Buena Park resident went to the Vegas country music festival to celebrate his brother's birthday. He says he was enjoying singer Jason Aldean along with 22,000 others when all hell broke loose.
"All chaos broke loose. It was just constant firing and it sounded like it was getting closer and closer," Smith said.
Smith started running and began quickly ushering others to safety. He was about a 1/4 a mile away near the backside of McCarran Airport when he stood up and suddenly felt the sting of a bullet.
"It was like a heavy punch to my arm. At that point my whole body spun around. I hit the gravel," Smith said.
The 30-year-old was struck in the neck. He was later taken to the hospital. That's where a Washington Post reporter snapped a photo of him describing how Smith had heroically risked his own life to help save more than a dozen others. The photo has been re-tweeted more than 100,000 times.
But Smith says his actions were not heroic at all.
"I did what any human would do in that situation right there. Was it smart to put my life on the line? Would I do it again?"
"I definitely would."
Smith says he's in constant pain and can't sleep. Doctors told him it was too dangerous to remove the bullet. But he says, he's grateful to be alive and can't stop thinking of those who perished in the shooting.
"We'll never know why everybody got shot or why everybody lost their lives...we never will know." said a tearful Smith.
Smith credits an off-duty San Diego Police officer for saving his life by stopping the bleeding and helping him get to the hospital.
His family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.