Zach Belisky depended on the kindness of strangers after he was shot in the upper leg while caught in the middle of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history last Sunday.
The 27-year-old was at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with two friends that night.
Coverage of the Las Vegas shooting on Globalnews.ca:
They were close to the stage when they heard a crackling sound.
Like so many who were there, they assumed they heard fireworks. But then Belisky saw something that right away convinced him it wasn’t.
“I actually remember running and looking up and seeing the muzzle flash over and over from the gun,” he told Global News.
That gun was being fired by Stephen Paddock from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Belisky lost his friends and was shot in the leg as he ducked for cover close to the stage.
He was trampled by people fleeing the scene as he lay in a pool of blood.
Then an off-duty police officer picked him up and took him to the road, where he was placed in a stranger’s vehicle.
“He threw me and two other people who had been shot into a vehicle,” Belisky said.
Belisky ended up in a trauma centre and received surgery immediately. He woke up with his mother Joan Smith standing by his side.
A resident of the Lower Mainland, he is now staying with his parents on Vancouver Island as he recovers. And he considers himself lucky to have counted on the kindness of strangers.
“If one of them hadn’t gone right out of all those things, I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be here,” he said.