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'He's the love of my life': Amid Vegas carnage, acts of compassion
[LAS VEGAS] A Las Vegas bartender held the hand of a young Canadian man as he died and then stayed with him for hours after promising his girlfriend and mother she would not leave his side.
Heather Gooze was being praised Tuesday for her act of compassion toward a stranger in the midst of the carnage at Sunday night's concert on the Las Vegas Strip.
"I would hope somebody would do it for me," Ms Gooze, 43, told CBS This Morning.
"I would hope that they wouldn't let me be alone."
Ms Gooze said she was working the bar at a VIP tent at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when gunfire erupted during the performance of country music star Jason Aldean.
Hundreds of people suddenly came crashing through the bar, which was located near an exit, and she began to assist two wounded men.
One of them was Jordan McIldoon, a 23-year-old apprentice mechanic from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, who was attending the show with his girlfriend, Amber Bereza.
He had been shot in the stomach and separated from his girlfriend in the panic that ensued when the gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel.
"His fingers were kind of wrapped on my hand," Ms Gooze told CBS.
"His hand kind of squeezed a little bit and then just, like, went loose."
A man who was with Ms Gooze answered Mr McIldoon's phone when it rang and obtained numbers for his girlfriend and his mother.
Ms Gooze spoke to his girlfriend, who was locked down at the Tropicana hotel.
"She said 'Be honest with me, like what's going on?'" Ms Gooze recalled for CBS.
"And I said 'He didn't make it.' She said to me 'He's the love of my life, like, are you sure?'"
"I said 'Yes'."
Ms Gooze promised Ms Bereza she would remain by his side and made the same vow to Mr McIldoon's mother after being put in touch with her.
She stayed there for about four hours.
Ms Gooze's Facebook page was inundated with hundreds of tributes on Tuesday from Canadians and others.
"Thank you for comforting him, his family and friends and strangers like myself are forever grateful he was not alone and was in your loving arms" wrote Jennifer Macpherson-Gresmak of Victoria, British Columbia.
"As a Canadian I want to thank you for being there for Jordan. It was the most selfless caring thing anyone could ever do," wrote Megan Nicole Hill of Barrie, Ontario.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured when a heavily-armed 64-year-old retired accountant opened fire on concert-goers from the Mandalay Bay hotel.