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Vegas shooting: Strangers risked all to save others

Stories of heroism emerge after Las Vegas shooting

With bullets crashing around them, they ran - to help.

"There were so many people, just normal citizens, doctors, cops, paramedics, nurses, just off-duty. Everyone's just communicating and working together," a festival-goer, Vanessa, told ABC News. "It was completely horrible, but it was absolutely amazing to see all the people come together."

Two women recalled how a stranger shielded them from a hail of bullets with his body.

Ms Krystal Goddard was with her roommate when Stephen Paddock began his shooting spree in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Ms Goddard and Ms Amy McAslin dived for cover under a table as the bullets continued to fly by, CNN reported.

Packed together tightly, Ms Goddard, 35, held onto Ms McAslin, who was shielded by a stranger who had already been wounded.

"He told (McAslin) that he'd been shot," Ms Goddard said. "He had expressed to her that he didn't think he was going to make it."

The pair do not know what happened to the stranger after he was taken away on a stretcher by paramedics.

Firefighter Steve Keys was performing CPR on a woman at the concert venue when he was shot. In a post on Facebook showing his wound, Mr Keys asked for prayers.

"Prayers needed. Lot of people hit. A lot killed. Was doing CPR on a woman in the concert when I got grazed. I'm ok. But a lot of people aren't," he wrote.

Former Marine Taylor Winston, 29, and his friend, Jenn Lewis, helped people over a fence as they fled the bullets.

The pair then found an unattended truck near the venue with keys still inside and used it to transport victims to the hospital.

"Jenn and I luckily found a truck with keys in it and started transporting priority victims to the hospital and made a couple trips and tried to help out the best we could until more ambulances could arrive," Mr Winston told The Daily Beast.

In two trips, the pair took about two dozen people to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center.

They also flagged down a police car and the officer turned on the vehicle's flashers to escort them through traffic.

Mr Jonathan Smith, 30, a copy machine repairman, looked around for his family - but they had all disappeared with his brother.

Seeing several festival attendees hiding behind a sheriff's patrol car at the north-west edge of the concert lawn, he decided to get them to safety.

"Active shooter, active shooter, let's go! We have to run!'" he shouted, grabbing people and moving them toward a handicapped parking area away from the lawn with rows of vehicles to hide behind.

Mr Smith estimates he directed about 30 people and when he stood up to urge a few young girls who were not fully hidden to get to the ground, a bullet struck him in the neck.

He has a fractured collarbone, a cracked rib and a bruised lung. Doctors are leaving the bullet in his neck for the time being, fearing that moving it might cause more damage.

"I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life," Mr Smith said.

Democrats call for tougher gun laws, Republicans call for prayers

WASHINGTON: The latest mass shooting in the US spurred a ritual-like response from politicians: Democrats renewed demands for tougher gun laws; Republicans offered prayers but no support for such legislation.

Following the Las Vegas massacre, the deadliest of many such incidents in the US, with 59 people killed and more than 500 injured, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said in a statement on Monday: "The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences and in our prayers."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also a Republican, led his chamber in a moment of silence following the "devastating" massacre and urged "national mourning" and prayer.

Democrats were not falling in line. "Thoughts & prayers are NOT enough. Not when more moms & dads will bury kids this week, & more sons & daughters will grow up without parents," Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a morning tweet.

Her points were echoed by former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who tweeted: "Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the National Rifle Association and work together to try to stop this from happening again."

Senator Chris Murphy, whose home state of Connecticut was the scene of a mass shooting in 2012 that killed 20 six-year-olds and six adults, said he would introduce a new background check bill.

The Connecticut tragedy sparked serious negotiations in Congress on tighter gun laws, including tougher background checks for gun buyers.

But the effort failed amid strong opposition from gun groups such as the National Rifle Association - REUTERS

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