In the aftermath of the Las Vegas strip mass shooting on Sunday night, stories of heroism are coming to the fore as Americans confront an unfathomable loss.
One photograph taken amid the chaos, as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired endless rounds into the 22,000-strong crowd at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, for 11 minutes from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, particularly struck a chord and was featured across international media.
The image depicts the moment a man shields a stranger from bullets, and her eyes from the horror:
The young man has now been identified at Matthew Cobos, a young US Army soldier who bravely ran into the danger zone to help others.
He is understood to have used his belt as a tourniquet to stop people bleeding and even put his finger in bullet holes of some who had been shot.
Getty photographer David Becker, revealed on Tuesday the couple had managed to run away seconds after the photo was snapped.
Cobos is reportedly back home now with family in California, according to the Daily Mail.
The young man lives in Hawaii where he is a cavalry scout with the US Army.
Meanwhile, others who have been affected by the tragic events, are coming to terms with the news, Paddock’s massacre has taken the lives of 59 people and left over 500 with varying potentially life-changing injuries.
On Sunday at around 22:30 (05:30 GMT), America witnessed its deadliest mass shooting in modern history, as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire.
Police have now released bodycam footage showing a local unit trying to locate the shooter amid the horrifying crackle of automatic gunfire.
You can watch it here:
Other acts of heroism have been documented on social media, as the survivors come to terms with what they’ve seen.
Two hours before the horrific events, Renee Cesario met Brendan Kelly, a Marine who later saved her life during the massacre.
She wrote in a thankful message on Facebook: ‘The whole night he didn’t leave my side.’
Dad-of-three, Jonathan Smith, is believed to have saved 30 people before being shot in the neck.
He shared his story with a Washington Post journalist after he was treated for a bullet wound in his clavicle.
Doctors said he may have to live with the bullet in his body for the rest of his life.
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) October 2, 2017
Another former Marine, 29-year-old Taylor Winston, saw an empty truck with keys left inside.
He drove the truck back to the venue while the attack was still ongoing and used it to load people into the back, potentially saving the lives of the many injured concert-goers.
You can watch him recount his story below:
Jimmy Kimmel perfectly summed up the reaction in a powerful televised speech:
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The investigation into Paddock’s motive for committing this atrocity is still ongoing.
Our thoughts are with all those affected at this devastating time.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.