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Retired Firefighter Offered To Stay With Wounded Mum During Mass Shooting To Save Her Kids

by : Cameron Frew on : 14 Feb 2020 13:57

Warning: Contains Distressing Footage

Retired Firefighter Offered To Stay With Wounded Mum During Mass Shooting To Save Her KidsRetired Firefighter Offered To Stay With Wounded Mum During Mass Shooting To Save Her KidsPA Images/Quest Red
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‘Are you listening to me? You cannot help your mum if you’re dead. You need to leave.’ 

Las Vegas, October 1, 2017 – the deadliest mass shooting in US history. As the Route 91 Harvest music festival got into full swing, with concertgoers revelling in the jovial atmosphere, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire.

Stationed on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he unloaded more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition over a 10-minute assault, killing 58 people and wounding a more than 400 others. In the hail of bullets and blood, small moments of heroism emerged.

You can watch a short clip from new documentary In Memoriam below: 

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In Memoriam, airing on Quest Red, tells the story of three of the USA’s deadliest mass shootings to take place in the past three years, all from the perspective of the survivors.

One subject of the programme is Paige Melanson, one of the 22,000 people attending the Las Vegas festival at the time of the massacre. As the crackling of gunfire began, confusion took over. ‘We start looking around because these pops are kind of distant, and all of a sudden people start screaming,’ she said.

Las Vegas Shooting DocumentaryLas Vegas Shooting DocumentaryQuest Red

As the reality of the situation became apparent, Paige realised she’d been shot.

She explained: 

I start telling them: ‘Guys I think I was shot.’ So, I show them my arm and they all start screaming and freaking out. At this point, we’re like: ‘Where’s mum?’ Then we look over my mum and we’re like: ‘Mum, mum!’ and she’s not responding. We get a little closer she’s not moving, she’s face first on the grass and her palms are up, so obviously it hit us: ‘Oh my God she’s been shot.’

All hope wasn’t lost. Through the blur of the mayhem, an unnamed, retired firefighter came to her mum’s aid – then urged Paige to get out of the area.

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Las Vegas Shooting DocumentaryLas Vegas Shooting DocumentaryQuest Red

Paige added: 

It’s all still a blur. A retired firefighter crawled over to us and he was like: ‘Where was she hurt?’ and when he rolled my mum over, we saw the blood that was all over her upper right chest. So he goes: ‘Are you listening to me? You cannot help your mum if you’re dead. You need to leave.’ He looked at us and he goes: ‘I will stay with your mum the entire time. But I will only stay if you guys leave.’

In Memoriam is one of three specials airing on the channel as part of ‘Killing Season’, alongside Aaron Hernandez: A Murder Mystery and Charles Manson: The Final Words. You can see the documentary on Saturday, February 15, at 23:00 on Quest Red and dplay.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Documentary, Firefighters, Las Vegas, Mass Shooting, Route 91 Harvest Music Festival