Las Vegas sheriff chokes up recalling stories of heroism during concert massacre

Sheriff Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department choked up at a news conference on Friday as he described instances of heroism from his officers earlier this month during the mass shooting that left 58 dead and hundreds more injured.

One of those officers was Brady Cook, who had been working his second shift at the police department on October 1 when the shooting occurred. Cook suffered four separate gunshot wounds to his shoulder, bicep, chest, and back, Lombardo said. Lombardo and undersheriff Kevin McMahill visited Cook and other injured officers on Thursday to check on their conditions.

“The reason why I bring this up is he asked me if he could go back to work today,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo also said he believes the police response that night saved lives by directing the gunman’s attention away from the concertgoers once officers began arriving in their vehicles.

“It is readily apparent to me that he adjusted his fire and directed it toward the police individuals,” Lombardo said. “So the responses of those individuals, I believe, saved lives.”

Another officer Lombardo named was Samuel Whitworth, who broke his leg while he was attempting to help concertgoers escape the shooting. He remained on the scene, regardless, to provide security for medical personnel still working, Lombardo said.

Lombardo also described a group of police officers who helped other first responders triage at least 50 gunshot victims, at one point even using their own equipment to control bleeding when they ran out of tourniquets.

The officers “calmly took care of the wounded and the dying” while they waited for ambulances, even placing people with more serious injuries on the backs of trucks to move them to hospitals more quickly, Lombardo said.

“Not all the victims made it out as the night wore on,” he said. “Those same officers were assigned to guard those deceased victims, not allowing any of them to be alone.”

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