Heather Gooze was bartending at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 1, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000. The shooting rampage left 59 dead and more than 525 injured.
“I had a British gentleman’s credit card in my hand and I was swiping it through the machine to charge for his Budweiser when all of a sudden there was thousands of people pushing their way into the bar and screaming and saying, ‘Shooter!’” Gooze told As It Happens host Carol Off on Monday. “It sounded like fireworks going off.”
Gooze was in the bar area helping people when a man who came in on a makeshift stretcher cobbled together from a security fence. Gooze recalled taking his hand.
“I felt his fingers tighten and then loosen,” Gooze said. According to Gooze’s account, that is when he died.
When the victim’s phone started ringing she answered and learned that he was 23-year-old Jordan Mclldoon from Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Gooze wrote his name on his arm and then called his girlfriend, Amber Bereza, who was in lockdown in the basement of the nearby Tropicana hotel.
“I said I was with Jordan and she said, ‘Is he hurt?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ And she said, ‘Is he OK?’ and I said, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘Please be honest me, what’s going on?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this but he didn’t make it,’” Gooze recalled of their their conversation. “And she said, ‘No, that’s not true, he’s got to be breathing.’”
Per Gooze’s account, she stayed with the heavy-duty mechanic apprentice for more than five hours until police arrived and began evacuating survivors. “I would never want myself or one of my family members to be left alone,” she stated. “I needed to make sure that they could identify him, that they knew who he was.”
As previously reported, Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino during the outdoor concert. Police responded to the incident at around 10 p.m. local time and found Paddock dead in his hotel room from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot.
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