A woman who survived the Las Vegas shooting found out what her date’s special skills were — and they may have saved her life that night.
Concert goer Renee Cesario, 23, met her date, Brendan Kelly, just two hours before country singer Jason Aldean started his set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday.
Once the shooting began, Cesario discovered Kelly was a Marine — a lance corporal based in Bell, California.
He didn’t waste a moment putting his instinctive skills to use.
Describing what happened in a Facebook post, Cesario said Kelly acted fast.
“Before I knew what was going on, Brendan tackled me down to the ground and covered me from the fire.”
Kelly, 21, told Military.com that he knew something was not right when he heard what sounded like firecrackers.
“When the music began to get muffled and off-beat is when I realized that maybe something wasn’t going according to plan,” he said.
“It was fight or flight at that point,” he added. “There was no thinking involved; it was just muscle memory.”
Kelly shielded Cesario from the gunfire while he assesed the situation. When the shooting paused momentarily, the Marine took action and led the way to safety.
“He kept telling me it was going to be OK and to keep running until we were safe,” Cesario said.
When the the pair reached safety, Kelly let Cesario use his phone to contact her sister, Jenn, who was relieved that her sister was OK.
Jenn told CBS News she thought her sister was dead. Jenn texted Kelly and thanked him for looking after her sister.
“Absolutely, that’s what we do, take care of our own and those around us,” Kelly replied. “Glad I could be there for her in that crazy time.”
Cesario said she would not have known what to do had Kelly not been with her.
“I for sure think if I had stayed with my friends or if I had been with anybody else I wouldn’t have made it out,” she told Military.com. (Fortunately, Cesario’s friends made it out, too, though one had to get stitches from being trampled by the panicked crowd.)
“I was frozen in fear; I didn’t know what to do. I feel like he was sent from God,” she said.
What an amazing story and what an incredible hero. This is a perfect example of how our military men and women are heroes on and off the battlefield.
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