They were safe, but many others were not
The recent shooting in Las Vegas is one of the most horrific acts of domestic terrorism that America has ever seen. In addition to sparking conversations about gun control and other political issues, it has increased fear in many Americans who feel helpless against the threat of unknown gunmen. However, none were more directly affected than those who were in the line of fire when the gunman began firing.
It’s impossible to know how you will react in a time of violence and disaster until it actually happens. Even the most well prepared person can easily be a victim by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. With 58 killed and over 500 injured, everyone in the line of fire on that fateful day had a unique and horrifying experience.
One image of a man and a woman lying together as the gunman opened fire has stood out to the millions of Americans who were watching news updates with growing fear and concern. Now, it’s clear that this mystery couple managed to flee the massacre to safety in an incredible display of perseverance.
Flee to Safety
Needless to say, not many photographs were taken during the event of the recent gun massacre in Las Vegas. Those in the immediate vicinity were preoccupied with trying to get to safety when the shots began to ring out. However, one image captured by Getty photographer David Becker has stood out as an example of perseverance in times of intense fear.
In the image, a man lays atop a woman, and it is unclear if the woman is alive and well or if she has been injured. It also appears that he was trying to shield her from harm’s way by putting his own body at risk.
“I don’t know if she was injured but he was very clearly shielding her with his body and protecting her,” the photographer told The Daily Mail.
Many assumed that she was injured or potentially dead, but Becker said that mere seconds after he took the photograph “[he] saw them both get up and run away.”
Disaster in Progress
Becker was editing photographs he had taken of the concert when he first heard shots go off. He discussed his experience in an interview with Daily Mail:
“I went outside to see what was happening and a security guy said it was just ‘fire crackers.’ So I went back to work. The second time I heard the popping sounds somebody said to me ‘it was just speakers or sound equipment’ and again, I went back into the media tent and continued to work. Then the noises went again and that was when the crowd started to flee.”
Although most people would have run in the other direction, Becker took his camera and ran out to take more photographs of the event.
“It was so dark I couldn’t really see what was happening, there were a lot of people crying, speaking on cell phones and ducking for cover… As the crowd thinned out I was able to go a little closer to try and see what was going on and take some more pictures, and I’m still thinking to myself ‘it’s just the speakers, there is nothing going on.’”
But then it became clear that things were more serious. He added:
“There were groups of people helping each other everywhere and a real sense of people running for cover. People were fleeing, they were panicking. The gun fire was sporadic, it would stop and then more shots, then a lull and then more shots. I could hear people yelling at them to shut off the lights, to be quiet. People were cowering, they were very fearful for their lives. A woman tripped right in front of me, a man shielded a woman with his body before I saw them both get up and run away, a man in a wheelchair was helped to an exit.”
In fact, it wasn’t until Becker returned to the media tent that he discovered that the police had shut down the entire area. When he looked over his photographs, he was shocked to see what they contained.
“It was then I started looking at my photographs and what I was seeing was just unbelievable. It had been so dark outside I couldn’t see the details, I just saw a lot of people laying on the ground thinking they were playing possum, but now I could see people covered in blood and I thought, this is real. When I saw the image of the woman lying on the ground covered in blood, that was when the impact of what I was experiencing hit; when I realized people were dying.”
Read the full coverage of this man’s experience from The Daily Mail.
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