LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- More than seven months ago, a Springfield man helped save a Nevada teenager the night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas.
KEZI 9 News Morning Anchor Bryan Anderson spoke earlier with Wayne Lowell and his wife, Kyla, about their story of survival. Now with the teen Lowell helped save, Nick Campbell, who was shot in the shoulder that night, is speaking out.
At the time, Lowell did not know Campbell survived, and ever since, Campbell had been looking for the man who helped save him.
Campbell attended the concert with his then-girlfriend, Olivia, and was enjoying the night, when the shooting started.
“They were like, ‘get down, get down, get down.’ That’s when everybody started realizing, ‘whoa, those aren’t fireworks,’” Campbell said.
He and Olivia were trapped.
“I was so far in the front, you had to wait for everyone to clear out,” he said.
Like many of the other concert goers, the two dropped to the ground, with Campbell shielding Olivia with his body.
“The lady behind me put her hand up and was like, 'This kid’s shot,'" Campbell said. "It’s numbing. You can feel it coming from point A to point B, you can feel the whole thing, but in that situation with all the adrenaline and everything, it didn’t really hurt."
At the time, Nick didn’t know that the bullet hit his right lung, piercing it, and he was losing blood fast. Over the course of the night, he lost a third of his blood.
“There was a quick second where I was on top of Liv and I was like, ‘Ah, this could actually, I could actually die,’” Nick said.
He helped Olivia climb over a fence to safety but was unable to follow her due to the pain he was experiencing. Nick ended up hiding next to a woman who had already died.
“I was kind of head down waiting for it to stop,” he said.
Nick then made his way to the VIP tent to find cover, where he met Lowell, a stranger.
“Everyone that I talked to that night, I was always like, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,’” Nick said.
Kyla had escaped the VIP tent by that time, and Lowell had decided to return to the tent due to a gut feeling.
“It didn’t look like anyone else was in VIP, but I went back anyway,” Lowell said.
Lowell found Campbell with his phone on his leg, with the teen’s dad on the other end. Campbell had called his parents but was in too much pain to talk, so Lowell picked up the phone. Lowell said Campbell reminded him of his own son.
A marine assisted Lowell in carrying Campbell out to safety, where he was put in a car that took him to the hospital.
“I just saw people everywhere, blood everywhere,” Campbell said.
He spent four days at the hospital, and a week after the shooting, he returned to the concert venue, where he got emotional.
“I never really thought about it,” he said. “You’re in the hospital, you’re doing interviews, everything’s going on. You can talk about it, but you never really thought about it.”
A few months later, he returned to the scene again, where he cut off his concert wristband and tossed it over the fence.
“I think that just solidified it’s over. It’s part of me, but I’m letting go,” Campbell said.
Reflecting on the experience, Campbell said, “As a teenager, you’re 16, you feel like you’re invincible.” Now, he says he feels like life is so precious.
Part three of the special report "Weight of Survival" airs Wednesday at 5 p.m.