A country music fan who used her body to shield a pregnant mum in a gun massacre has been reunited with her – and the tot she saved.
Sue Ann Cornwell had been near the stage at the festival in Las Vegas when Stephen Paddock opened fire with 1,100 rounds from a hotel window.
She had just helped a group of youngsters over a fence when she saw seven months pregnant Miriam Finch, 21, crouched nearby.
Bus driver Sue Ann, 52, leapt into action with sister Billie Jo, leading Miriam along the front of the stage to find a gap to flee through.
Throwing herself on top of Miriam every time the hail of bullets began again, Sue Ann told the petrified mum-to-be: “Your baby is not dying on my watch.” After being reunited and watching her rescuer cuddle little Xander, Miriam fought back tears and told of her “pure happiness”.
She said: “When you go through something like that you can’t stop thinking about the people you met, about what happened to them.
“Sue helped me get out, so I felt a constant need to find her.”
Deranged Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 400 in the October shooting at the Route 91 festival.
Xander was born the following month by C-section, a month early. Miriam and Sue Ann met at the Healing Garden in Las Vegas – created as a memorial to the victims – after Miriam traced Sue Ann through a website for survivors.
Recalling the attack, Miriam said: “At first it sounded like fireworks. When I realised I felt shock, seeing so many people on the ground unresponsive. But the biggest thing was trying to protect my baby.”
Mum-of-one Sue Ann explained: “I recognised the gunfire straight away.
“There were a bunch of kids around me so I pulled them down and helped some of them over a fence.
“Then I saw Miriam with Billie Jo and told them to get up and follow me. There were bullets flying everywhere, you could hear the ‘ting, ting, ting’ as they bounced off the equipment.
“We had to hit the floor three or four times until we got to a bit of open fence. Seeing Miriam again, I was so proud.”
Surf shop worker Miriam added: “I’m so grateful. That a stranger I’d never met in my life did that was amazing.”
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