Debbi, a 61-year-old woman from California, was on a girls' weekend to Vegas, celebrating a couple of birthdays with her girlfriends. The country music scene isn't necessarily her favorite, but she went with her friends to the Jason Aldean concert. Debbi was part of the shooting.
She was right next to the stage when the shooting started. She hid under the sound booth as it was sprayed with bullets. A bullet grazed her back, and she caught shrapnel in h...er arm that she later had removed. She told me her story, and I'm writing it into a larger article about the Vegas shooting, a story about the helpers and the heroes.
Debbi told me about the man who laid over her, covering her body with his, how he whispered to her, "You're safe. I've got you covered."
She told me about the four young men who raced out from under the sound booth, who left their own safety, to rescue a man in a wheelchair. He was frozen and traumatized, staring into the war scene. They left their own shelter, ran to him, and they just started running behind his wheelchair, pushing him to safety.
She told me about her friend who fell when she tried to climb the fence. She hit her head really hard, and a medic wanted her to go to the emergency room. But she gave up her seat in the ambulance, sure that somebody else needed it more. She's a 72 year old grandmother, by the way.
She told me about the taxi drivers who wouldn't take any money, who said, "Just tell me where you need to go."
She told me about the many concert goers who were also military men, firemen, police officers, who took control of the chaos and guided people to safety with crisp, clear commands.
She told me about the people who stopped their cars at the side of the road, loading victims into their backseats and taking them to the hospital.
She said, “It was the most horrific scene. But I kept seeing all these people who were helping other people. There were a lot of heroes. There were so many heroes. They were unbelievably selfless.”
To read Debbi's harrowing experience of helpers, heroes,
and the strength of the American spirit,