The following image was reportedly one of the first to emerge from the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas which has claimed 58 lives and injured more than 500. When hundreds of bullets rained down on the people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, many of the music fans ran for their lives.
But there were also plenty of others who dropped to the ground in a bid to avoid any bullets from the gunman, who took his own life after his sickening act.
This couple were spotted on the floor, with the man heroically lying on top of the woman to shield her from the gunfire. Many people feared for their safety but the photographer behind the dramatic image has said they got up and ran to safety shortly after the picture was taken.
Credit: Getty Images
Getty photographer David Becker has said: “It was so dark I couldn’t really see what was happening. There were a lot of people crying, speaking on cell phones and ducking for cover. As the crowd thinned out I was able to go a little closer to try and see what was going on and take some more pictures, and I’m still thinking to myself ‘it’s just the speakers, there is nothing going on’.
“People were cowering, they were very fearful for their lives. A woman tripped right in front of me, a man shielded a woman with his body before I saw them both get up and run away. A man in a wheelchair was helped to an exit.
“When I saw the image of the woman lying on the ground covered in blood, that was when the impact of what I was experiencing hit; when I realised people were dying.”
Dozens of people remain in a critical condition in hospitals around Las Vegas following Sunday’s massacre. The Sunrise Hospital has 33 people still clinging to life, while the University Medical Center has 12.
Investigators are trying to piece together the shooter’s motivations behind the attack. He hasn’t been linked to any international terrorist organisation, despite the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the attack.
Gunman Stephen Paddock brought a cache of weapons into the Mandalay Hotel and set up hidden cameras inside the hotel so he knew when law enforcement officers were closing in on him. He took his own life before they found his room on the 32nd floor.
He had at least 12 weapons that had been fitted with a legal device that allows the firearm to rapidly shoot bullets, according to CNN.
In total, the 64-year-old had 47 weapons spread out across three locations, including the hotel room and his two Nevada homes in Mesquite and Verdi.
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images