The Northwest heroes who stepped up as chaos reigned in Las Vegas

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, stories are surfacing about brave men and women who helped people who were wounded in a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

It’s a glimmer of light in the darkness as America remembers the 59 people killed and awaits for the recovery of 527 injured individuals.

People from the northwest are among the survivors, victims, and heroes.

>> Read about the northwest survivors and victims here 

Here’s a look at who stay behind to help after a gunman fired hundreds of rounds from his Mandalay Bay hotel room into a crowd of more than 22,000 people.

Tacoma doctor told wife to run while he stayed to help Las Vegas victims

When shots rang out, Dr. James Sebesta did not run. He stayed behind with panicked people in the crowd to treat their wounds.

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“When shots fired he looked at his wife and told her to get out with their friends to safety and he would meet them back at the hotel,” his sister-in-law Crystal Graham wrote.

“He, in the midst of chaos and fearful, went out and started finding the wounded and medically helping them … He carried victims to safety. He carried bodies of those victims that didn't make it off the field," she wrote.

Read his full story here.

Former Snohomish County Firefighter commandeered ambulance to save Las Vegas shooting victims

As a former firefighter and an EMT in Snohomish County, Scott Pettersen thought he'd seen nearly every kind of emergency.

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But Pettersen said nothing could have prepared him for the challenges he faced in a hail of gunfire in Las Vegas Sunday night. He was suddenly focused on getting his girlfriend and a family with small children away from the concert grounds to find a place where they could survive.

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Desperate for shelter, they found a Las Vegas ambulance without a crew inside.

"I ran to this aid car, and with my background, I know they're always unlocked," he said. "So, I told the family with the kids to get in the back and I shut the side door. I opened the back doors, and the second I opened them, there was already four people wounded there, waiting."

Pettersen guessed the ambulance's crew was likely working on victims in the grounds. So, while bullets were still flying, he went to work on people running to the ambulance for help.

"I grabbed gauze, grabbed bandages and started wrapping a guy up, and another guy came up who was shot in the back, and I started wrapping him," he said. Then, two seconds later, a woman arrived who was shot in the back of her leg followed by a man with a shoulder wound, followed by a woman with a neck wound.

"It didn't stop," he said.

Pettersen lost track of how many he and an off-duty police officer treated. He estimates it could be more than two-dozen.

Read his full story here.

Redmond teen calms mother in panicked crowd 

Acts of heroism come in all forms. Claire Wick, 14, and her mother, Tracy, were near the front of the stage when gunfire stared.

They thought it was the sound of people stepping on beer cans. That quickly changed when a man next to them was hit.

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The daughter and mother ran to an awning, but they still weren't safe.
Clarie was able to keep her mother calm, when Tracy thought she couldn't run any more.

"She was going 'Mom, you have to run.' I was going, 'I don't think I can' and she was like 'No, you run!'" Tracy said. "She was amazing, in control, way calmer than I was."

The pair ran past other people who had been shot, who they said were clearly already dead. They eventually took shelter in an airport hangar.

Bremerton couple and friend risk lives to help during Vegas shooting

A Bremerton couple and their friend risked their lives to help the wounded during the Las Vegas shooting, according to the Kitsap Daily News.

The couple, Ali and Nick Pendergrass, and their friend, Alicia Hounsley, were at the music festival when gunfire started.

Nick, a firefighter at Naval Base Kitsap, started helping people over a fence to flee to safety, the Kitsap Daily News reports.

From the Kitsap Daily News: ‘“Just watching my husband pulling these people over the fence just snapped me out of it,” Ali said. “I was instantly calm and went, ‘Oh, my God, we need to get people over this fence, that’s the only way for them to get out.’ And I ran back over to the fence and me and my friend Alicia started pulling people over the fence as fast as we could.”’

Among those they helped was a pregnant woman, who they lifted over the fence, trying to protect her stomach.

Ali also helped transport gunshot victims to a nearby hospital in a borrowed truck. Read the whole story here.

If you know someone in the northwest who stepped up to help in the Las Vegas shooting, and would like to share their story, you can email us here.  

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