Tags: Las Vegas Shooting | Mass Shootings | johnathan smith | hero | victim | las vegas

Shooting Victim Who Saved 30 Lives: 'I Thought I Would Die'

(CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront")

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Oct 2017 09:16 PM

A California man shot in the neck Sunday while saving as many as 30 lives during the Las Vegas massacre said Wednesday "the whole time, I thought, honestly, I would die."

"I cannot forget about what happened," Jonathan Smith, 30, a copy machine repairman from Irvine, Calif., told Erin Burnett on CNN. "I'll relive it every day.

"I think the people that weren't there don't realize how traumatic it was."

Smith, who had driven to Las Vegas to attend the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival from California with his brother and seven other family members, was credited with saving as many as 30 people after Stephen Paddock began raining bullets on the crowd.

Once he led people to a handicapped parking area away from the area, where they hid behind a row of cars, Smith ran back into the crowd, according to news reports.

"Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking," Smith told Burnett. "The moment that I got my brother and three nieces across street, I don't know what made me turn back around.

"Maybe it was a screams. I don't know.

"I just felt, if I could help one person or multiple people, that's one life that was spared," Smith said.

He dismissed the idea of being a hero.

"Everyone's been using word, 'hero,'" Smith told Burnett. "I've been saying it since the whole time I got home: I'm not a hero. I'm far from a hero.

"I think I just did what anybody would do.

"Was it smart?" he asked. "Probably not."

Smith was shot in the arm and neck — and he was saved by off-duty San Diego Police Officer Tom McGrath, who placed his finger in Smith's neck wound to stanch bleeding and got help.

"He's being too modest," McGrath told Burnett as Smith broke down with emotion. "What he did was extraordinary.

"He did something extraordinary, showed tremendous bravery," the officer said. "He inspires me.

"He may not want all the credit, but he did a wonderful job," he said. "I was happy to be there to help him towards the end and get him out of there when he was hit."

Of McGrath's help, Smith told Burnett: "Honestly, I owe the man my life."

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A California man shot in the neck Sunday while saving as many as 30 lives during the Las Vegas massacre said Wednesday "the whole time, I thought, honestly, I would die."
johnathan smith, hero, victim, las vegas
373
2017-16-04
Wednesday, 04 Oct 2017 09:16 PM
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