A scout sniper for the U.S. Army Rangers helped save the lives of victims of the Las Vegas massacre by choosing to stay in the line of fire and providing medical assistance to those who were injured.
Robert Ledbetter, 42, told the Los Angeles Times that he was 40 yards from the stage when the shots rang out on Sunday night.
“We all looked around,” Ledbetter said, as he and his wife tried to assess what was going on, and one person four rows ahead of him fell to the ground. “Then it really started opening up. Rounds. Rounds. Rounds. Everybody was hitting the ground. I saw some people falling. At that time, the lights went off.”
Ledbetter led his wife to the Neon Lounge, a VIP area with a roof, providing her with some cover. He put his wife under a seating platform, which she used as a spot to take cover. Those wounded used the VIP area as a way to take cover, as well.
Ledbetter helped provide medical assistance to the wounded nearby.
He applied pressure to a man who had a bloody shoulder and created a makeshift tourniquet using a flannel shirt that another man was wearing.
“He just gave me his flannel off his back,” Ledbetter said, when he asked the man for his shirt.
Ledbetter and his wife then decided for their own safety that they had to run from the scene. On their way out, they found a man who appeared to have been hit in the leg by gunfire. Ledbetter wrapped a T-shirt around his leg and carried him to Las Vegas Boulevard, where they found a truck carrying 5 to 10 other injured people to the hospital.
Ledbetter told the Los Angeles Times that he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“I’m a retired vet. There were five surrounding me that were combat medics doing the same thing I was doing,” he said. “Army veterans helping other veterans, helping people out.”
Ledbetter and his wife took shelter inside Excalibur Hotel and Casino, while others in shock took shelter under a nearby bypass.
Ledbetter hailed a cab and found out that his brother, Gabe Jacobson, was shot in the arm and chest and was in Valley Hospital.
According to Ledbetter, Jacobson and his wife escaped to a nearby airfield and were picked up by police officer who took him to a firehouse where paramedics put a tube in his chest. The paramedics then drove him to the hospital, where he was later listed as in stable condition.