Las Vegas survivor shielded from gunfire by marine she met just hours earlier

Marine Brendan Kelly and Renee Cesario met before the Las Vegas shooting  - Twitter/Jenn Cesario
Marine Brendan Kelly and Renee Cesario met before the Las Vegas shooting - Twitter/Jenn Cesario

A survivor of the Las Vegas shooting has praised a US Marine she met just hours earlier for shielding her as bullets rained down around them.

Renee Cesario met Marine Brendan Kelly at the open-air country music festival hours before Stephen Paddock carried out the deadliest mass shooting in US history, killing at least 59. 

“Brendan and I met only two hours before the Jason Aldean show,” Ms Cesario recalled to Love What Matters. “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 a 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 … The whole night he didn't leave my side.”

Mandalay Bay Resort  - Credit: AP
Investigators walk through debris at the festival Credit: AP

Marine Kelly later received a text message from her grateful sister Jenn thanking him his incredible actions.

He responded: “That’s what we do, take care of our own and those around us. Glad I could be there for her in that crazy time.”

Countless acts of heroism and courage during the massacre have emerged, with one veteran stealing a truck to help the victims.

Another survivor has thanked the brave strangers who helped her escape heavy gunfire.

50 dead in Las Vegas shooting, in pictures