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Dad who put his life on the line during the Vegas shooting goes viral for being a hero.

Dad who put his life on the line during the Vegas shooting goes viral for being a hero.


With all the heartbreak that came out of the deadly Las Vegas shooting Sunday, it is important to highlight those brave individuals who remind us of our humanity. The shooting was the most deadly in American history, but more lives could have been lost if it weren't for people like Jonathan Smith, a hero who reportedly risked everything to save dozens of strangers.

Smith, a 30-year-old copy machine repairman and father of three, was shot in the neck Sunday evening while trying to usher others to safety. His picture was tweeted out by Washington Post correspondent Heather Long and eventually went viral.

According to The Washington Post, Smith and his extended family were visiting Las Vegas from California to celebrate his brother's 43rd birthday. All nine family members attended the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd from the window of his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino.

Smith's first priority was getting his family to safety, so they all joined hands and started running. However, his three nieces, age 22, 18 and 17, were separated during the stampede. Smith ran back out into the crowd to find them.

While he was searching, Smith grabbed several frantic concert goers and lead them to the handicapped parking area in the direction of the airport, away from the Strip. Smith says that many were so afraid that they froze.

"I got a few people out of there," Smith told The Washington Post. "You could hear the shots. It sounded like it was coming from all over Las Vegas Boulevard."

After ushering many people to safety, he noticed a group of young girls that were still in the line of fire. He ran out to move them and was shot in the neck.

And though Smith is being hailed as a hero for saving groups of strangers, he credits another hero for saving his life. Smith believes an off-duty police officer helped to stop the bleeding from the gunshot wound and eventually flagged down a pickup truck transporting other injured victims to the hospital. All the while, the off-duty police officer kept assuring Smith that everything was going to be okay.

"I really didn’t want to die," Smith said, recalling that he was struggling to breathe after being shot.

Smith suffered a fractured collarbone, a cracked rib and a bruised lung in addition to the gunshot wound to the neck. Doctors are leaving the bullet in his body for now, fearing that moving it will cause additional damage.

Soon Twitter was reaching out and seeing if there was anything they could do for a man who saved so many lives:

Jonathan's sister-in-law set up this Go Fund Me page to cover his medical expenses. They have already surpassed their initial fundraising goal.

Smith reported that all of his family members—including his three nieces—made it out of the chaos safely. Although many are lauding Smith as a hero, he doesn't quite agree.

“I don’t see myself that way,” he said. “I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”

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