Montana women recount bravery of people in Las Vegas shooting - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana women recount bravery of people in Las Vegas shooting

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McCrorie, Schweigert McCrorie, Schweigert

LAS VEGAS - More stories are trickling out, showing the strength and bravery of the men and women who were being shot at during Sunday night's concert in Las Vegas, including some from south-central Montana.

Montanans at the concert have shared harrowing accounts of the violence that played out around them. None of those who attended the three-day concert will forget what unfolded. Part of that is the good that they saw.

Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood once shared a story of what his mother always told him in light of tragic events.

"My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world,” he said.

Columbus High School grad Chantal McCrorie witnessed those helpers in action. She was enjoying the concert in the VIP section when the shooting began. 

In a matter of seconds, bullets whizzed by the area, forcing the crowd to find the exits. McCrorie and others ran behind a nearby tour bus.

"We were huddled together. I was in shock and I was shaking. People who didn't even know me held me. People held your hand and people had no problem jumping over to help," said McCrorie. "That's one thing I could say is people there were so strong that they were more focused on the next person and getting where they need to be than breaking down or just giving up."

McCrorie was uninjured.

Another Billings woman at the event witnessed the chaos and assisted in moving victims.

Family and friends didn't hear from Tracy Jo Schweigert following the shooting, fearing the worst. She was able to provide an update on Facebook explaining a couple, who Schweigert helped cover, picked up her phone.

" We were in the direct line of fire and I had shrapnel from a bullet ricochet off of my leg but I'm fine and am not injured," she posted. "I am so grateful for my best friend Shawnta (Flatness), and her being a nurse, we were able to help pull so many victims out who needed medical attention. So many people stepped up to help, but there were so many that we could not help. We were there half the night helping with wounded and taking the ones that were critical out on barricades. 

A military veteran and West High grad Mark Lacy was also in the VIP area when the shooting started. In an interview with NPR's All Things Considered, Lacy recounted moving the wounded by barricade:

"My wife and I helped carry out a individual that had a leg arterial wound with - and had a tourniquet on - got him out, got several other individuals out. We used the gates that were surrounding the VIP area. We disconnected them and laid the individuals on those and carried them out to the staging area.

And what was kind of upsetting to me - and I understand why they do it - is that the first responders did not come into the area. Fire department, ambulance and that were all staged at a safe location because the area was not declared safe. And so everybody that was evacuated - the wounded, the deceased, et cetera - were all done by concert goers."

More stories of the bravery, courage, and strength are likely to emerge from the night -- the helpers who made a difference in the light of tragedy.

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