Family of Victoria man shot in Las Vegas looking for hero who helped save him
Jeff Lawrence, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, October 3, 2017 5:42PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 3, 2017 7:03PM PDT
The family of a 21-year-old Victoria-area man shot twice in the Las Vegas massacre say they want to thank the unnamed hero who likely saved the young man's life.
Sheldon Mack suffered a ruptured colon and broken forearm when a gunman unleashed a hail of bullets on the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night.
So far, 59 people have been pronounced dead and over 500 injured in what's being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Sheldon is now recovering in a Las Vegas hospital with his family by his side and spoke out about the horrific experience on Monday.
"We thought it was like fireworks or something for the stage, but we heard a few rounds and then we saw people panicking. It all kind of happened so fast," he said.
His father, former CTV News anchor Hudson Mack, recounted the tense few hours between hearing his son had been shot and finding out he was being treated in a hospital.
"It was a hellish night. We weren't even aware that they were at the concert, Sheldon and his two friends Liam and Cole," said Hudson. "On Sunday night, Patty kept getting a phone call from a number she didn't recognize…It was Liam saying 'I don't know if you've seen the news, but we're at a concert and there's been a shooting and Sheldon has been hit.'"
A few hours later, they tracked their son down at Desert Springs hospital and learned he underwent emergency surgery to remove a portion of his colon.
Sheldon is now doing well and a surgeon is pleased with his progress, his father said, but it could have turned out much differently if not for the heroic actions of an unidentified man.
"Someone who had helped him off the ground at the shooting site had stayed with him and rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital here, and basically held him down and prevented him from bleeding to death," he said.
The man wouldn't leave Sheldon's side until he was admitted into the operating room, and then left to have his own wounds taken care of, according to Hudson.
"We don't know who that is," he said. "I'd sure like to find him and thank him because he's a real angel."
Sheldon's brother, Hamilton Mack, has also issued a plea on Twitter to help track down the stranger.
"My brother's life saved by a man who dragged his bleeding body to an ambulance and laid on his wound to stop bleeding. Plz help us find him," he said in a reply to an article detailing the heroic actions that took place during the shooting.
My brother's life saved by a man who dragged his bleeding body to an ambulance and laid on his wound to stop bleeding. Plz help us find him.— Hamilton Mack (@hamyoman) October 3, 2017
Despite the trauma they've been through, the family says the outpouring of support from friends as well as complete strangers has been nothing short of astonishing.
Hotels have been providing free accommodations for visiting families of the victims and Uber is offering free rides to and from hospitals.
Hudson said he hopes his son can return home within a week but it depends on how an upcoming surgery on Sheldon's arm goes.
"He's a trooper, he's a real star and so brave and a real hero of mine," he said. "But we know as bad as this has been for us how lucky we are, and our heart breaks for people who have lost loved ones."
Three women from Alberta and a B.C. man are among the dozens of casualties in the shooting and at least seven other Canadians were wounded.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has encouraged friends and relatives of Canadian citizens known to be in the area to contact Global Affairs Emergency Watch and Response Centre at 1-800-387-3124 or email email@example.com.