Soldier relives night of Vegas shooting horror

Armed police in Las Vegas after the shootings
Armed police in Las Vegas after the shootings
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A BRAVE soldier has told of the moment he risked his life to help victims of the Las Vegas shooting atrocity.

Trooper Chris May, 24, was on a break after his squadron’s annual training with the American army when the violence erupted.

Trooper Chris May

Trooper Chris May

Crazed gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, had opened fire on the 22,000 people at a country-western festival, from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 58 people and injuring 546.

Chris, who was born in Chichester and lives in Bognor Regis, said: ‘We were in the hotel next door.

‘Me and my two mates were crossing a bridge and I thought I heard gunfire, my friend said ‘not in Vegas’.

‘Then we heard a second burst and people screaming. So we knew something was going on.’

On instinct, he – along with two fellow soldiers from the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards – ran against the tide of terrified onlookers towards the gunfire.

Courageous Chris, who is a team medic in the army, said he was determined to help as many people as possible.

The soldier began by directing people to safety away from the gunfire before helping police and first responders to treat the wounded.

‘It was just mass panic to begin with,’ he said. ‘Everyone was just trying to get out the way.

‘We’ve never been on tour and have never seen combat but our training just kicked in straight away. At first we were helping to get as many people out. We then got split up, it was chaos.

‘That was when the first couple of casualties came back to the triage area. The first few injuries I saw were superficial gunshot wounds from ricochets.

‘One guy though was shot in the forearm. You could see the round went in and hit his bone, breaking his arm.

‘I tried to bandage that up. His wife had shrapnel in her leg too.’

Overstretched police soon asked for his help to treat more of the more seriously wounded, after learning of his four years of military experience.

‘There was one guy who had blood pouring out of his head,’ added the former Felpham Community College pupil. ‘His girlfriend kept screaming he had been shot.

‘There was definitely a small hole in the top of his head.

‘He was just chatting. He didn’t realise he had been shot.’

Chris spent about four hours helping the injured, treating about six people and evacuating dozens more from danger.

He added when he arrived back at his hotel, he had missed calls from his worried family and friends.

‘None of us, I don’t think, realised how bad it was,’ he said.

Having returned to the UK, Chris is adamant he is not a hero, he said: ‘We just wanted to help as many people as we could.’