As many of us know, a tragedy unfolded during the final set of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Just as Jason Aldean broke into his performance, a man perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel opened fire on the crowd of 22,000 enjoying the show below.
The initial moments of the attack were filled with confusion – something that Renee Cesario will have to live with forever. Thankfully, there was a guardian angel looking over her shoulder during the entire ordeal…
A few hours before the chaos erupted around them, Renee and United States Marine Brendan Kelly spent the evening dancing to the carefree country music and soaking up the happiness of the people around them.
Then the incident began.
Without thinking twice, Brendan jumped on Renee and made sure she was safe from the line of fire. After the pair escaped the scene, Renee shared the full story with the Love What Matters Facebook page:
“Brendan and I met only 2 hours before the Jason Aldean show. I left my friends so we could go up super close to the front for the end of the night.
We were just dancing and having fun and then all of the sudden there were loud noises that sounded like fireworks, but no lights were going off.
It stopped, and Jason Aldean kept playing but then the shots fired again and he ran off the stage.”
“Before I knew what was going on, Brendan tackled me down to the ground and covered me from the fire. It stopped again and he looked around to see what was happening and then it just kept going. He looked at me and said, ‘We have to get out of here. We can’t stay here. It’s not safe.’
Then he pulled my arm up to get me out of the piles of people. We had no idea who was dead or who was alive. We just started to run. He kept telling me it was going to be okay and to keep running until we were safe. He even let me use his phone to stay in touch with my sister so she knew I was safe, which is the text you’ll see [below].
The whole night he didn’t leave my side.”
Without Brendan’s bravery, Renee easily could’ve been one of the 58 concertgoers whose lives were taken or the 515 who were injured by the man targeting innocent people.
Now she’s counting her blessings and hoping Brendan receives the credit he deserves for saving her life!
Thankfully, these two made it out of the situation unscathed physically. However, thoughts and prayers go to the many who lost loves ones and for the recovery of so many injured. Beautiful stories of courage and bravery such as this bring a light of hope amidst the sadness.