Stranger Served as Family’s ‘Guardian Angel’ After Las Vegas Shooting
The massacre of country music fans at Sunday's (Oct. 1) Route 91 Harvest Festival has been labeled the deadliest shooting in modern American history. But hope still glimmers from the darkness, and stories of heroism and compassion will be remembered over pain and tragedy.
The Washington Post is featuring the story of Kody Robertson, an auto parts salesman from Columbus, Ohio, who met Michelle Vo, an insurance agent from Los Angeles when they both went to get a beer at one of the festival's beer stands. Vo, a recent convert to country music, was alone, and she and Robertson developed a fast friendship, taking in part of the show together before shots broke out later that night.
"She got hit and I turned and saw her immediately fall to the ground," Robertson recalls. "She was literally right beside me, maybe two feet away."
Robertson says he threw his body on top of hers in hopes he could shield from the bullets that rained down for 11 minutes. When the gunfire finally stopped, he and another man carried Vo, who was unconscious, out of the venue to find help. After attempting CPR, they placed her on a pickup truck that was headed to the hospital. Robertson then headed back into the festival grounds to help others, which is when he found Vo's purse.
Her phone wasn't inside. He repeatedly called the number she gave him until someone picked up and told him he could retrieve the phone at Planet Hollywood. So he headed there so that he could find her family's contact information and give them as many details as he could.
But he didn't stop trying to track her down. Robertson spent all night checking local hospitals, trying to learn about Vo's condition. He told her family he wouldn't stop until he did, and he kept that promise.
These Are the Faces and Stories of the Las Vegas Shooting Victims
Jeremiah Hawkins, who is married to Vo's oldest sister, was in touch with Robertson throughout the night. He'd call hospitals while Robertson would walk to them, describing Vo to nurses.
"I kept being afraid that Kody wouldn't pick up, or Kody would leave, that he would drop us along the way," Hawkins tells the publication. "I was calling every hospital, and every operating room, and every time I called Kody, he answered. Every message, he responded. Every time we needed him to do something, he did it."
Robertson finally received news about Vo the following morning at 11AM, when he got to Sunrise Hospital. She had died from her gunshot wounds. It was up to Robertson to call her family, and though the news is tragic, they're thankful.
"Kody was our guardian angel," Vo's oldest sister, Diane Hawkins, says. She fully believes that had Robertson not gone looking for her sister, the family would still be trying to find her. "He refused to let her be alone."
The full story is worth your time — visit the Washington Post to read it.
Jake Owen, Chris Young Describe the Shooting