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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Las Vegas shooting survivors, from left, Hillary Kane, Samantha Carranza and Lacey Tucker, are trying a track down a man and woman who helped them during the chaotic aftermath.

Friday, November 10, 2017 1:00 am

Vegas survivors try to find their heroes

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – As soon as Chris Gilman knew she would survive the gunshot wound she suffered in the Las Vegas massacre, she wanted to find the two strangers who saved her life – a man and woman whose names she didn't even know.

She found a Facebook page called “Find My LV Hero” and posted a plea.

“Looking for husband and wife who were by the VIP bleachers and helped me get out,” wrote Gilman, of Bonney Lake, Washington. “My wife gave the husband her shirt and the wife held it against my side to stop bleeding as they carried me through the VIP area out to the street.”

Despite the scant details in Gilman's post, it worked. Three days later, Gilman connected with her rescuers, Alex and Wanda Valiente, off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who were at the Oct. 1 concert where a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds.

The connection is one of about 25 made so far through the Facebook page. Nearly six weeks after the massacre, Ashton Zyer's social media creation continues to generate new searches for heroes who in some cases saved lives and in others simply provided what comfort they could.

Zyer, a Las Vegas singer/songwriter, said she started the page after seeing several people in her large social media network post about trying to find someone.

Lacey Tucker of Henderson, Nevada, is desperate to find the couple who helped her and her cousin and sister-in-law as the three women fled the gunfire.

Tucker had just been grazed by a bullet while shielding her cousin, and the group was hysterical over a friend they lost track of amid the chaos.

That's when the women, all in their mid-20s, ran into a man named John and his wife, both in their early 50s. Tucker said the couple immediately went into “mom-and-dad mode.” At one point, John locked hands with Tucker. A wave of calm came over her.

“It was the first at-peace feeling I had when he grabbed my hand,” she said. “It was like I was a little girl and my dad just found me.”

John held her hand as the group ran about 10 minutes to safety. John then told his wife to stay with the women while he ran back to the shooting scene to find their missing friend.

John found the missing woman by shouting her name in the last place her friends saw her.

Amid the tears and hugs when all were reunited, John and his wife quietly left. The women never got to say “Thank you.”

“I don't think they really know what impact they had on us,” Tucker said. “None of us were severely injured, so they probably don't think they helped save lives, but they did.”