Woman holds dying man's hand

LAS VEGAS - Heather Gooze was working as a bartender at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday night in Las Vegas and looking forward to a fun evening at a sold-out venue.

More than 22,000 people attended the concert which took place outdoors on MGM property across the Las Vegas Strip from Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Many thought the first rounds of gunfire might be fireworks.

"We were having a good time, you heard a noise, but you didn't think anything of it," Gooze said.

Then there was screaming, running, the music stopped, people had blood on their arms and faces.

"I don't know why. I didn't run. I felt like I wanted to. Something inside of me wouldn't let me leave through the gate," she said.

Gooze did hide for a while under a trailer and called her mother and sister to tell them she was alright. 

People believed that the shooter was in the venue, not knowing that he was actually shooting from a window on the 32nd flood of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Gooze said, it was like she was in a war movie scene. Bloodied bodies lay on the ground as people attempted to help the injured. She helped load one man, who was shot in the head, into a car headed for a hospital. All she knows about him is that his name was Chris. She doesn't know if he survived.

Seconds later, another severely injured man was brought to her. She grabbed his hand and he squeezed her fingers and then he stopped squeezing. She stayed with him.

About an hour later his cell phone rang, she answered it and talked to a friend of his. She gathered information on the man she had tried to comfort. She found out his name was Jordan McIldoon and he was a 23-year-old from British Columbia. He was visiting Las Vegas with his girlfriend, Amber. Gooze was able to call his girlfriend, who was locked down in another area, and tell her she was with McIldoon.

"She asked me if he was OK. She asked me to be honest and to tell her. I told her he did not make it. He was the love of her life," Gooze tearfully said.

Gooze also promised to stay with McIldoon's body so he wouldn't be alone. 

Then the phone rang again. This time it was his mother. Gooze thought she already had been told. She ended up repeating the heartbreaking news to his mom. They talked about Jordan and Gooze assured his mother she would not leave his side until someone came to take his body.

She was with Jordan McIldoon until 3:30 a.m.

 

 

 


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