Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 8:34 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 9:02 AM
By: Michael Cooper - Staff Writer
SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield native who attended the country concert in Las Vegas was hit by shrapnel and tried to save the life of a woman near him after she was struck by gunfire during the largest mass shooting in United States history.
47-year-old Todd Riley, a 1988 Kenton Ridge High School graduate who now lives in Thornton, Col., attended the three-day concert with his fiancée and two other couples last week, said his mother, Springfield native Rita Riley.
“You just can’t even imagine something like this happening,” Rita Riley said.
On Sunday evening, the unthinkable happened: As Riley was in line for a drink, the woman in front of him was shot in the chest and fell into his arms, Rita Riley said.
Riley and another man found shelter for the woman after she was shot. They attempted to CPR, but were unsuccessful, Rita Riley said. A young man used a wheelbarrow to get her to medics during the gunfire, she said.
This was just one act of courage her son saw during the shooting, she said.
“You always try to save somebody, that’s just your nature,” Rita Riley said, “I think it’s going to weigh on him for awhile. … I think that’s going to be the hardest thing for him to heal from. He tried his best (to save her).”
Her son was treated and released from the hospital and is back in Colorado, where he works as a school principal.
“He just basically says no one will ever know the nightmare of what these people went through and what they witnessed,” Rita Riley said. “You don’t think to experience that at a concert.”
The shooting left 59 people dead and 500 people were taken to hospitals in Las Vegas on Sunday night after authorities said Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from his nearby hotel room window.