My Person of the Week: Jonathan Smith
Unless you live under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard of the deadliest mass shooting to have occurred in modern-day United States history. With now 59 confirmed dead and almost 530 people injured, the Las Vegas shooting from this past weekend has truly captivated the nation.
While authorities search for a motive, the rest of us are digging for possibilities that would lend some sense to the tragedy. However this much is true: events like these, avoidable or not, serve as a reminder that the fragility of life is not only perpetuated by our fellow (wo)man, it can be relieved by him (her) as well.
As Stephen Paddock rained down bullets at on-lookers at the Jason Aldean concert, Average Joe and father of three Jonathan Smith did his best to save the lives of those around him. Even putting himself in danger in the process. Amidst the panic and turmoil, he had his family grab ahold of each other and ushered them to safety while shouting out “active shooter” to concert-goers who seemed too bewildered by the unfolding disaster to react quickly.
According to the Washington Post, Smith grabbed as many people as he could and ushered them toward a handicapped parking lot away from the Vegas Strip. There, they hid behind the last row of cars.
He suffered a near fatal gunshot wound when he left safety to enter back into the line of gunfire after noticing two young girls standing in a vulnerable position. When the nightmare was over Jonathan Smith was credited for saving 30 lives. The bullet that fractured his collarbone, broke a rib, and bruised a lung may have to remain in his body for the remainder of his life due to the possible complications in having it removed.
His family has organized a GoFundMe account to help pay for his medical bills. While writing this entry, the campaign sat at $72,522. Well above the $7,000 mark originally set.
Sunday, October 1st, 2017 is a day that will live on in infamy. But let us not forget the acts of bravery displayed by Jonathan Smith and all those who put others before themselves in the time of need. Smith credits a San Diego off-duty police officer who tended to him and saw that he was given transportation to a hospital for saving his life.