Las Vegas Shooting: Auburn, Washington Firefighter Dean McAuley

From my notes:  ” FBI is suggesting the Vegas murderer’s mental state was deteriorating, that he had significant weight loss, an increasingly slovenly physical appearance and obsession with his girlfriend’s ex-husband.”

Visiting from Auburn, Washington, off-duty firefighter Dean McAuley was in Las Vegas to see a concert. Instead he ended up saving lives during the Sunday night attack.

“We started moving toward the center of the stage. Jason Aldean was out, and the crowd was just having a really good time. Then pops started happening, and it sounded like fireworks. It took me about 3-4 seconds to know it wasn’t fireworks. So we got down and a lot of people started getting down and we started to hear some screaming.

As soon as [Aldean] pulled his guitar off and was scrambling to get off stage, you could see sparks hitting the stage as well. Bullets were ricocheting. It was very clear it was an automatic weapon, and we could not determine where it was coming from. Just chaos and you could see people dropping, and you could hear people screaming.

As soon as there were was a break, we got up, but the break was very minimal. Knowing what we know now, [the gunman] was probably switching guns and started he again and we went down. We could still see people coming our direction trying to get out, and you could see people dropping. He continued to shoot, we could hear people screaming for medics; screaming for help.

People were trying to get up over fences and there was nowhere to go – these fences were so high and kids were climbing up on these fences and just getting picked off by bullets because they were just falling off the other side. You could hear what was going on. We pulled one girl into our group and we kept hearing: ‘I need help, I need help!’ That was probably the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. We’re designed to help immediately.”

Explaining that when he had the chance to escape, he told a friend, “I told him I can’t, I have to go to work. I get to go to work, because I want to. There [wasn’t] a first responder there that didn’t want to go to work. [So] if you want a title of a hero, there were thousands of heroes there.”

Once inside the medical tent, McAuley described, “It’s a moment there I will never forget; looking at this off-duty firefighter – I don’t know his name – and we just both looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s go.’ We went out and emptied a big garbage wheelbarrow and came across another wounded victim. We loaded her into it; she had a pulse so we felt she was saveable, and raced her back to the tent.

At that point, the floor in the tent was something out of a war movie; lots of blood and lots of bodies. Best way I could describe it was just like a blood bath [because] we had bodies, a lot of bodies.

[In another instance a] pickup truck, I’ll never forget two people – a husband who was handing me his wife saying ‘She’s fine, she’s fine, you just have to get her in there.’ I had to check pulses and she didn’t have a pulse. That was the moment…that was really tough.

I really hope that [what] people get out of this is – there was one bad person, there were 30,000-plus amazing human beings, incredible human beings. There’s so much negativity in this world; and I hope that’s not what people get out of this – there were some remarkable people working together doing things – total strangers helping each other; people with no training wanting to help each other.

We all became one that night. There’s a lot of love in his world and a I got to see humanity in action. I got to see one person at their worst, but I got to see humanity at its best. We had hundreds of people willing to put their life on the line and get out there and help.”

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