The Las Vegas mass shooting has left many devastated. Families have lost loved ones or are dealing with the aftermath of caring for the wounded.
Many of us, even those who weren’t directly affected by the violence, are scared and horrified and feel the kind of emptiness where hope used to be. It’s hard to feel optimistic, to believe in kindness, when this kind of senseless violence occurs.
This is why stories like Jonathan Smith’s deserve to be told. And retold. Smith saved dozens of people during the shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured. The 30-year-old repairman and dad of three told The Washington Post that he was scared, but being scared also didn’t stop him for being brave.
When he heard the gunshots, he was at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with his brother, Louis Rust. He said you “could hear the shots. It sounded like it was coming from all over Las Vegas Boulevard.”
He reacted fast–helping lead dozens to safety, telling NBC’s Today, “I decided I’m not gonna leave anybody behind.”
This is when he was shot, saying to the NY Post that he “couldn’t feel anything in my neck. There was a warm sensation in my arm. I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life.”
Thankfully, he was taken to Sunrise Hospital where he found out he suffered a cracked rib, a fractured collarbone and a bruised lung. This is also where a photo of him, which was posted on Twitter and went viral, was taken of him:
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) October 2, 2017
Despite people calling him a hero, he merely sees his actions as right, not heroic, saying to the Post, “I don’t see myself that way. I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”
As of now, you can help Smith pay his medical expenses through a GoFundMe page.
You can also help others report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting by using the hotline 1-800-536-9488, or send photographic or video evidence to 1-800-CALL-FBI.
If you can donate blood, you can go to United Blood Services, either at 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson, Nevada.
If you don’t live in the Las Vegas area, you can donate money to this fund has been started on GoFundMe started by Steve Sisolak the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair, the local chapter of the American Red Cross, or the National Compassion Fund.