In the darkest moments of despair, it's not hard to find the shining moments of humanity. Of ordinary people acting in heroic ways.
In the wake of the deadly mass shooting on the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, those stories are beginning to emerge -- of people springing into action and risking their own safety, to save those in need.
These are a few of those stories.
Jonathan Smith was at the concert to celebrate his brother's 43rd birthday, but left with a bullet likely lodged in his neck for the rest of his life. He also left as a hero.
Washington Post reporter Heather Long snapped a photo of the 30-year-old as he sat in a waiting room, after he helped get about 30 people to safety among a hail of bullets.
Smith shouted for people to run, then grabbed them to guide them to safety. "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.”
He was shot in the neck, the Post reported, when he stood up to warn a group of girls to get down.
Taylor Winston, a Marine veteran, was in the concert crowd when gunfire broke out. When the music stopped and he realized what was happening, Winston told CBS This Morning he and a friend looked for ways to help and started checking trucks for keys.
"First one we tried opening had keys sitting right there. I started looking for people to take to the hospital," he told CBS. "There was just too many and it was overwhelming how much blood was everywhere."
Winston's friends thanked him for his heroism, writing: "You're an outstanding example of what we should all strive to be in time of crisis."
A group of 11 off-duty firefighters happened to be at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival with family when the gunman opened fire. NBC reports that they were mostly from Arizona and Southern California and Nevada.
While some were injured, they all continued to help victims up to the moment they were able get help for themselves. Some of them have been treated and released, others are still in the hospital.
"There was a lady on the ground and she was bleeding from the head. I don't know if she was shot or whatever, so I stopped, I had them continue, and me and some other people helped her out," Jesse Gomez told NBC Nightly News. "I called my wife and I told her I was gonna stay and to go home... and she was crying... and she said I had the keys. So I ran back to the car and I handed her the keys and she begged me not to go. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. But she knew I had to go."
But the first responders also had praise for non-first responders who also acted to help.
"The civilians attending the concert were amazing. They were carrying people out and we knew at that time there needed to be some organization," said Ben Cole.
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