B.C. man survives bullet in back of the head during Las Vegas shooting
Braden Matejka is lucky to be alive, and he knows it.
The 30-year-old from Lake Country was shot in the back of the head during the mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival Sunday night, where 58 people were killed.
Somehow, Matejka lived to tell the tale.
“I think everybody I’ve met has told me to buy a lottery ticket,” he told Global News from his hospital bed in Las Vegas.
“Not too many people get a second chance after being shot in the back of the head.”
Matejka was with his girlfriend Amanda Homulos during country artist Jason Aldean’s set when the shots started to go off.
Like many others, the couple originally mistook the shots for firecrackers, but started running when it became clear they were in danger.
After taking cover under tables inside a nearby tent, Matejka grabbed Homulos and made another run for it as bullets rained down around them.
That’s when he felt what he described as “a sledgehammer” in the back of his head.
WATCH: Braden Matejka and his girlfriend Amanda Homulos talk to Reuters about what happened to him after he was shot.
“I fell flat on my face, and she flew over top of me because I was holding her hand,” he said.
“I got up, and I was really, really dizzy and disoriented. I didn’t know where I was. I said, ‘Babe, I think I’ve been shot.’ She looked at the back of my head, and there was blood all the way down my shirt and my pants already.”
Matejka said a stranger tied a t-shirt around his wounded head to stop the bleeding. Another man waved down a couple in a car, whose driver got Matejka to the hospital in the nick of time.
“She stopped, opened the door, let me in the back, and drove me to the hospital like a bat out of hell,” he said.
“[They] never asked me any questions. They stuck with me as long as they could, until the ER people took me in.”
The bullet wound was described as a “through and through,” skimming his skull and exiting the other side.
Matejka said his vision is blurry and his head is still throbbing with pain. While those symptoms are likely to heal, the emotional scars are set to last for a while longer.
“I think [Homulos and I] are both going to seek some mental help, just to try and clear our brains of what’s been going on and talk to some professionals about it,” Matejka said.
READ MORE: Full coverage of the Las Vegas mass shooting
“[We’re] trying to stick together with friends and family too.”
Matejka was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, posting on Facebook that the couple would be driving back home.
Four Canadians are confirmed to have been killed in the shooting, including 23-year-old Jordan McIldoon from Maple Ridge.
With files from Paul Johnson
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