Over 515 people were injured during the Mandalay Bay shooting on October 1st, and many of the victims are still recovering. But a couple who was injured in the attack is already back on their feet.
Gracia, an off-duty police officer from Ontario, California, was attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival with partner Summer Clyburn when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd. Gracia took a bullet through his head in the first round of shooting and fell to the ground. Unable to move him, Clyburn shielded him with her own body and was shot under her right shoulder blade.
Gracia was quickly taken to the hospital, and Clyburn was unaware whether he had survived for several hours afterward. Both Clyburn and Gracia were injured in the attack, but Gracia’s injuries were considered critical, and he underwent neurosurgery at the Sunrise Hospital & Medical Centre. While CBS Los Angeles initially reported him as one of the event’s casualties, the Ontario Police Department confirmed that he was still alive.
Both Gracia and Clyburn recovered quickly from their respective injuries. The Orange County Register reported that he walked down the hallway just days after his surgery, holding Clyburn’s hand for support. At the time, Ontario Police Sgt. Jeff Higbee made a statement saying that Gracia “is showing steady signs of improvement.”
The couple was able to return to Southern California on October 6th, and exited their plane to “cheers and thunderous applause,” according to KTLA5. Gracia was later taken to an unspecified rehabilitation center where he will continue to heal. According to the Ontario Police Department, he is expected to make “a full recovery.”
Jesse Rivera, a friend of the couple, has established a GoFundMe page to take care of their combined medical expenses. “The love between those two is real,” Riviera writes on the page, “and they are new parents and new parents shouldn’t be going through this.” As of publication, the page has received $94,260 of its $95k goal.
The couple has become local celebrities to those impressed by the love they’ve shown each other and Clyburn’s selfless bravery. “Everyone’s texting me, ‘Your daughter’s a hero.’” Summer’s mother, Crystal Clyburn, said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It makes me so proud.”
— KTLA (@KTLA) October 6, 2017
Click NEXT POST for more stories. Don’t forget to SHARE on Facebook.