Military

Marine Helicopter Mechanics Assist on Scene During Las Vegas Shooting Evac Efforts

By Staff Writer | October 12, 2017

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Sgt. Michael Vura and Cpl. Austin Cox, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303 helicopter mechanics, assisted in victim evacuation and casualty care following the mass casualty attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1. These Marines went above and beyond the call of duty and demonstrated characteristics that are instilled in every Marine during training and life in the Marine Corps.

Sgt. Michael Vura and Cpl. Austin Cox, mechanics with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303, assisted in victim evacuation and casualty care following the mass casualty attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps

A gunman opened fire into a music festival in Las Vegas Oct. 1. In what is now being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, 58 died and almost 500 were injured. On the scene were two mechanics from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303.

According to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Sgt. Michael Vura and Cpl. Austin Cox assisted victim evacuation and casualty care following the shootings.

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“I went to this country concert to get away from all of my life’s problems, and it became the realest moment of my life,” said Vura. “Remember the basics, and know that something like this could happen at any moment.”

After identifying the targeted areas, both ran toward gunfire to assist in evacuation. While doing so, they came across several people who had sustained gunshot wounds, the wing said. Vura and Cox evacuated them while applying pressure and makeshift tourniquets when needed.

“As we turned to walk away, we found a girl that had a gunshot wound to her neck,” said Cox. “We immediately pulled her over the barricade and started applying pressure to her neck. There was more blood coming from another wound, and we found that she had been hit in the back as well.”

After this, the wing said the two Marines separated: Cox helped the female get to the hospital while Vura continued aiding evacuation efforts and treated more who had sustained injuries until rescue teams arrived.

“With Sgt. Vura there, I had more courage than I would have had on my own,” said Cox. “We were there when the people affected needed us. ... We are Marines 24/7.”

Read more at U.S. Marine Corps.

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