LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01:  People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after gunfire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

'He saved my life and lost his' - stories of horror and bravery from Las Vegas

Mike McGarry, a financial adviser from the city of Philadelphia, knew what he had to do when he heard hundreds of shots ring out at a Las Vegas country music festival.

"It was crazy — I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," Mr McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.

Mr McGarry survived the attack, but another festivalgoer who tried to protect his family wasn't so lucky.

Heather Gulish Melton said her husband, Sonny Melton, died in Sunday night's attack because he saved her from being shot.

In a statement to the Nashville television station WZTV, Ms Melton said, "he saved my life and lost his."

Jeremy Butler, who said he had been best friends with Sonny Melton since he was three years old, told the Paris (Tennessee) Post Intelligencer newspaper that Melton was shielding his wife from gunfire when he was fatally shot.

The couple got married about a year ago, Mr Butler said.

Video of the attack on Sunday night showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.

"People were just dropping to the ground. It just kept going on," said Steve Smith, a 45-year-old visitor from the city of Phoenix in Arizona.

"Probably 100 shots at a time … It would sound like it was reloading and then it would go again."

"We heard [what] sounded like a glass breaking, so you looked around to see what's going on and then heard a pop, pop, pop," witness Monique Dekerf told CNN.

"You'd think for a moment 'Okay we're fine, there's no more gunfire', then it starts again."

Couples held hands as they ran through the dirt lot, Associated Press reported. Faces were etched with shock and confusion, and people wept and screamed. Some were bloodied, and some were carried out by fellow festivalgoers. Dozens of ambulances took away the wounded, while some people loaded victims into their cars and drove them to the hospital.

One festivalgoer who turned first responder after escaping the attack told Fox News he "probably pronounced 15-20 people" dead.

He likened the attack to a "war scene".

Jocelyn Cal, who said her father was caught up in the attack, described to The National how he came inches from death.

“My dad is a warrior. He was in the heart of the shooting on the closest side to the Mandalay Bay,” she said, referring to the hotel outside of which the Route 91 Harvest Festival was taking place.

“At one point he was sure it was the end and had a bullet what felt like an inch from his face."

"He was screaming at people to get down and was pushing people to crawl with him. Girls next to him were frightened, crying and didn’t want to move," she added.

“He finally got near a fence that thought would help protect him. But [the shooter] took notice and started heavily shooting the area. My dad crawled as far as he could until he couldn’t breathe and got under a car. His arms are torn up."

Ms Cal said her father kept crawling until he felt it was safe to start running.

"He sprinted to the nearest small hotel," said Ms Cal. “He and a group of people locked themselves in a conference room and shielded themselves with a granite table they pushed over. He’s still there and is safe.”

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends


Started: November 2017

Founders: Mounir Nakhla, Ahmed Mohsen and Mohamed Aboulnaga

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport and logistics

Size: 150+ employees

Investment: approximately $8 million

Investors include: Singapore’s Battery Road Digital Holdings, Egypt’s Algebra Ventures, Uber co-founder and former CTO Oscar Salazar


Display: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR, 2,732 x 2,048, 264ppi, wide colour, True Tone, ProMotion, 1,600 nits max, Apple Pencil hover

Chip: Apple M2, 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: Storage – 128GB/256GB/512GB / 1TB/2TB; RAM – 8GB/16GB

Platform: iPadOS 16

Main camera: Dual 12MP wide (f/1.8) + 10MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 2x optical/5x digital, Smart HDR 4

Video: ProRes 4K @ 30fps, 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps

Front camera: TrueDepth 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 2x, Smart HDR 4, Centre Stage, Portrait, Animoji, Memoji; full HD @ 25/30/60fps

Audio: Four-speaker stereo

Biometrics: Face ID, Touch ID

I/O: USB-C, smart connector (for folio/keyboard)

Battery: Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to nine hours on cellular

Finish: Silver, space grey

In the box: iPad, USB-C-to-USB-C cable, 20-watt power adapter

Price: WiFi – Dh4,599 (128GB) / Dh4,999 (256GB) / Dh5,799 (512GB) / Dh7,399 (1TB) / Dh8,999 (2TB); cellular – Dh5,199 / Dh5,599 / Dh6,399 / Dh7,999 / Dh9,599

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


Syria 1-1 Australia

Syria Al Somah 85'

Australia Kruse 40'


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Most Read
Top Videos

View from DC

The inside scoop from The National’s Washington bureau

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      View from DC