Tom McIntosh was just one of the 527 people wounded in Las Vegas on Sunday night when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Outdoor Music Festival, killing 58 people.
Though the death toll has marked this act of “pure evil” as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Savannah Guthrie said it best on Tuesday morning: “The tragedy here in Vegas has brought out the best in SO many people.”
John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Tom McIntosh has experienced that overcoming light on Sunday night, in the form of a man named James Lawson.
After shots rang out during the Jason Aldean concert on Sunday night, Tom and his wife, along with hundreds of other attendees, rushed to anywhere that appeared to be safe.
They got to a wall on the outer edge of the festival property, where Tom helped his wife and another woman over.
That’s when Tom was shot in the leg.
He was bleeding out and desperately trying to get away, but the wound was bad. Others around him tried to help, but the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
“By the time I got over the wall my pants were already soaked and my shoe was full of blood,” Tom recalls. “I knew I wouldn’t have made it.”
Just when Tom thought he was surely going to die, a complete stranger, James Lawson, came to his rescue.
Using the belt on Tom’s body, James put his Army Reserves training as an EMT to good use, tying a makeshift tourniquet around Tom’s leg.
The two waited together for a while as chaos continued around them, before a “savior in a pickup truck” emerged and offered them a ride to the hospital.
On Tuesday morning, the pair was brought back together in an emotional reunion on the Today show.
Still reliving the shock of that night, James says he doesn’t remember thinking.
“He kept wanting to not lose his foot,” James says of Tom, “and I kept reassuring him of that, and he’s still got it!”
Like every other hero that risked their own lives to save others on Sunday night, James says he’s no hero. Just one of the dozens of concert goers who didn’t leave others behind.
Both James and Tom emotionally thanked whoever the driver of the “maroon F-250 or 350” was, saying that the night could have turned out much different for both of them had that “savior in a pickup truck” not been there when he was.
Light will ALWAYS shine through the darkness.
Tom says he “wouldn’t be here” if it weren’t for the selfless acts of people like James, and the pickup truck driver, and the hundreds of others, who continue to remind us of the GOOD in people.