Jonathan Smith was in Las Vegas celebrating his brother’s 43rd birthday when he suddenly heard the sounds of gunfire.
The 30-year-old dad of three and copy-machine repairman from Orange County, California, was among the hundreds of people sent fleeing in terror when a gunman opened fire during the country music Route 91 Harvest festival.
According to The Washington Post, Jonathan initially thought the gunshots were fireworks. He and his extended family were seated close to the stage for Jason Aldean‘s performance on Sunday night when the shooting began. Initially, Jonathan was focused on saving his nieces, but they had separated when they ran from the stage into the stampeding crowd.
But as soon as he saw other people who were so scared they couldn’t even move, he knew what he had to do.
Shouting “Active shooter, active shooter, let’s go! We have to run,” Jonathan grabbed total strangers and led them to the handicapped parking area, where they crouched behind cars. When he saw a few younger girls who weren’t completely covered, he went toward them to tell them to get down on the ground. At that point, a bullet hit him in the neck.
Witnesses say that Jonathan’s actions prior to his injury saved 30 lives.
Thankfully, another Good Samaritan intervened when Jonathan himself needed help. Jonathan thinks it was an off-duty San Diego police officer who saved him, stopping the bleeding from his neck wound and flagging down a pickup truck to get the hero dad a ride to the hospital.
“I don’t see myself that way,” he told The Washington Post. “I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”
The sister of Jonathan’s long-time girlfriend has set up a GoFundMe on his behalf to raise money for his recovery and medical expenses.
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Thumbnail Photo: GoFundMe
Footage provided by WGNTV Chicago
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