With gunshots echoing around him, postal worker and ex-Marine Gilbert Segovia rushed his wife to a hiding spot Sunday — and then went back to help an elderly woman lying on the ground.
“It was nothing about being a hero, it was more about being human. I needed to do that, it was the right thing to do,” the Moreno Valley, Calif., dad told the Daily News on Wednesday.
Segovia, 40, said the woman lay crumpled on the ground and he used a sports towel to put pressure on her bleeding leg. As he searched in vain for a pulse, a bullet ripped into his own leg.
“From my toes to my knee, it just felt like fire. It was on fire,” Segovia said. He recalled looking at the badly injured woman and knowing “her life was fading.”
Remembering the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting
“With the echoes of all the firing, it was like a war zone. I had to find my wife,” he said.
“Even though he was in pain, his bravery never stopped,” daughter Andrea Segovia said on the GoFundMe account she started for her dad Wednesday.
Segovia led his wife and other relatives through the parking lot to a paint store. He used his belt buckle to break a window and crawl inside, then opened the door and ushered about a dozen others to safety, he said.
The group set up a barricade and then turned their attention to Segovia. A woman said she worked at a hospital and used her bare hands to stop his bleeding as she helped fashion a tourniquet, Segovia said. He never got her name, but he believes she helped save his life.
Segovia’s story is one of countless tales of bravery, survival and continued suffering emerging after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
With tubes still connected to her veins, Los Angeles nurse Natalie Vanderstay recalled being shot.
“It felt like a huge baseball, just the force of it going through my stomach,” she told The Associated Press. Vanderstay, 43, looked down and saw her leg was “filleted open.” She took off her flannel shirt to tightly wrap the leg and summoned the strength to run.
“I said, ‘OK, I can’t stay here. I’m going to bleed out.’ It hurt so bad,” Vanderstay said, weeping from her bed at University Medical Center on Tuesday. “But I knew I didn’t want to die. I wasn’t ready to die.”
Segovia and Vanderstay were two of more than 500 people injured at the Route 91 Harvest concert. At least 130 people remained hospitalized Tuesday, with 48 in critical condition.