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Acts of heroism emerge in chaos of Las Vegas shooting

Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 3:47 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 3:44 AM


            A woman looks over a makeshift memorial site on Las Vegas Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
A woman looks over a makeshift memorial site on Las Vegas Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Rob Ledbetter's battlefield instincts kicked in quickly as bullets rained overhead.

The 42-year-old U.S. Army veteran who served as a sniper in Iraq immediately began tending to the wounded, one of several heroes to emerge from the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Amid the massacre in Las Vegas, which left 59 people dead and more than 500 injured, there were acts of compassion and countless heroics that officials say saved many lives.

There was a man one survivor knows only as Zach who herded people to a safe place. There was a registered nurse from Tennessee who died shielding his wife.

Like many people in the crowd of some 22,000 country music fans Sunday night, Ledbetter heard the pop-pop-popping noise and figured it was fireworks. Then he saw people dropping to the ground. When more booms echoed in the night air, he recognized the sound of automatic weapons fire.

The gunman, identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant from Mesquite, Nevada, created his own sniper's perch inside the 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay casino hotel, across from the concert grounds. He appeared to fire unhindered for more than 10 minutes, according to radio traffic, and then killed himself before officers stormed in and found 23 firearms.

"The echo, it sounded like it was coming from everywhere and you didn't know which way to run," said Ledbetter, who was at the concert with seven people including his brother, who was shot and injured, and his wife. They found cover in a VIP area of the concert. Once out of harm's way, he turned to injured strangers.

Thanks to a man who took the flannel shirt off his back, Ledbetter says he put a makeshift tourniquet on a wounded teenage girl, whose face was covered with blood.

"Some random guy, I said, 'I need your shirt,' "said Ledbetter, who is now a mortgage broker and a resident of Las Vegas. "He just gave me the flannel off his back."

Ledbetter said he compressed someone else's shoulder wound, and he fashioned a bandage for a man whose leg was shot through by a bullet.

"There was a guy that looked like he had a through and through on his leg, that we just put a T-shirt around and just did a bandanna tie," said Ledbetter, who was outside University Medical Center on Monday, where his brother was being treated for a gunshot that went through his arm and into his chest. He is expected to survive.

Ledbetter and others grabbed the injured man, carried him out to Las Vegas Boulevard, put him in the back of a utility truck with five to 10 other people that was headed to the hospital.

Ledbetter said he would have helped more people but couldn't clear the barrage of gunfire.

"I'm saving people, or trying to do my best. But it got to the point, I saw people all over, laying where we used to be standing ... just laying there and nobody getting to them and I couldn't get out there. The shots just kept coming in and bouncing. I would have been in harm's way," he said.

He worries that those unfamiliar with battlefields will suffer what they have survived.

"Everybody there is going to have emotional problems. I know that. There was blood everywhere I went: Excalibur, Luxor, on the Strip, on the street," Ledbetter said. "All these people are going to have PTSD. I feel bad for all of them."

Another concertgoer, Anna Kupchyan, credits a man she knows only as Zach for saving her life and about nine others when he herded them into an outdoor trailer serving as a restroom.

Kupchyan, a 27-year-old law student from Los Angeles, said bullets were raining down on the crowd as she and a horde of others began running in search of a way out of the outdoor venue.

The man, Zach, opened a door and ordered people inside and then joined them and shut the door, Kupchyan said.

They stayed inside as the shooting continued, everyone paralyzed in fear, she said.

"Then security came and they shouted for us to get out, to run," she recalled. Outside the trailer, dead bodies were sprawled on the ground, including a man who had been shot in the head, she said.

She and her best friend Leslie Aguilar, a 26-year-old therapist, eventually jumped in a cab that was driving by and befriended two other women survivors who let them stay in their hotel room until the danger subsided.

Not all of Sunday night's heroes survived.

Sonny Melton, a registered nurse, died in the shooting, according to The Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, where he worked.

His wife, Dr. Heather Melton, an orthopedic surgeon who was with him when shots were fired, survived.

She told WZTV in Nashville, Tennessee, that her husband "saved my life and lost his." She said her husband was the most kind-hearted, loving man she ever met.

___

Associated Press writers Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco and Anita Snow in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

Hippo photo bombs engagement proposal

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:42 PM

Fiona The Hippo Photo Bombs Special Moment

Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s beloved baby hippopotamus, helped celebrate the engagement of #TeamFiona fans.

>> Read more trending news

The couple were in line to snap a picture on their one-year anniversary earlier this month when Nick Kelble surprised Hayley Roll by getting down on one knee and proposing while Fiona photo-bombed the special moment at the zoo’s Hippo Cove.

Kelble, a University of Cincinnati student, and Roll, a recent Bowling Green State University grad and radiology tech at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, have loved Fiona from the start, our media partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

“We are huge #TeamFiona fans and have been following her since she was born,” Roll said, WCPO reported. “We’re so happy Fiona could be there on our special day. Here’s to many more years of going to zoos with you,” Roll posted on Instagram.

One zoo staff member cropped the photo and quipped that Fiona thinks she’s the one getting engaged. Another said Fiona would need a much bigger ring for one of her toes.

New father accused of selling heroin from maternity ward

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:24 PM

New Father Allegedly Sold Heroin From Maternity Ward

A new dad is accused of selling heroin from his family's room in the maternity ward.

Cody Hulse's child was born Thursday and police say a few hours later, Hulse was arrested on accusations he was selling heroin out of the maternity ward. 

Only Channel 11 was there as Hulse faced a judge Friday.

>> Read more trending news

On his way to jail, Channel 11 asked him what he had to say about the allegations.

"I have an addiction problem," Hulse said. "I do." 

Police say they stopped a car on North Main Street and could see heroin bags in plain sight.

They asked the person where they got the drugs, which led officers to Room 511 of the maternity ward of Excela Health Westmoreland. 

They found Hulse inside his girlfriend's room. 

They say he cooperated and told them he sold heroin to people who visited the room earlier that day.

Inside his pocket, police say they found 34 bags of heroin, needles, rubber bands and a spoon. 

Channel 11 contacted Excela Health about the arrest and whether there's anything the hospital can do to prevent something like this from happening again.

A spokesperson told Channel 11, "We appreciate the efforts of the city of Greensburg Police Department. Excela Health's security team works cooperatively with local and state law enforcement on an ongoing basis to help insure our health care is delivered in a safe environment for patients, visitors and employees."

The baby's mother denied knowing he had heroin in the room, but said she knew Hulse had issues with heroin in the past.

Family finds crawling worms in Cosco chicken at dinner table

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 12:18 PM

A worm crawling on a boy’s finger. A family in Canada found worms in their cooked chicken breast dinner from Cosco. The retailer apologized and refunded their money.
Steven Gottlieb/Corbis via Getty Images
A worm crawling on a boy’s finger. A family in Canada found worms in their cooked chicken breast dinner from Cosco. The retailer apologized and refunded their money.(Steven Gottlieb/Corbis via Getty Images)

A Canadian family made a nauseating discovery while eating a chicken dinner last Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

The Mo family of Point Cook, Victoria were stunned to discover worms crawling in their cooked chicken.

Leon Mo said he bought the $6 chicken breast from Costco while shopping with his wife.

Mo told the Herald Sun that his daughter refused to eat the food because she told him “there’s worms.”

He says that when he looked in the package, there were two more worms.

After the skin-crawling discovery, he took the chicken back to the store where they gave him a full refund and filed a report. They also called him the next day to check and see how he was feeling.

Mo noted that the chicken wasn’t yet expired, and says that though he trusts big brand stores, “People need to seriously check the quality.”

>> Related: At a San Antonio Popeyes, this woman got a side of screwworms with her spicy chicken

He and his wife, who was then nine months pregnant, both ate some of the meat, but he says they weren’t sick from the food.

Man kills 416-pound wild boar in front yard of suburban Houston home

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 11:52 AM

Two wild boar cubs are pictured here. The boars grow up to become major nuisances in parts of Texas where a Houston-area man just shot a huge boar in his backyard.
DIETER NAGL/AFP/Getty Images
Two wild boar cubs are pictured here. The boars grow up to become major nuisances in parts of Texas where a Houston-area man just shot a huge boar in his backyard.(DIETER NAGL/AFP/Getty Images)

Wild boars are considered a pest in Texas, where the animals can cause significant property damage.

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So when Joe Clowers spotted a massive boar in the backyard of his suburban Houston home last weekend, he did what plenty of Texans do, he shot and killed it, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Clowers sent a photo of the 416-pound beast to the Gregg County Game Warden.

He also shared a photo of himself standing next to the huge animal. 

>> Related: Man kills 820-pound wild hog found in his front yard

Wild boar are a big problem in rural Texas and they’re increasingly showing up in suburban areas now, the Chronicle reported.