Las Vegas Shooting Victim and Man Who Saved Him Reunite on Today

After helping to stop his leg from bleeding, an Army reservist sees the guy he helped Sunday night

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 03, 2017 2:38 PMTags

In times of tragedy, there are unexpectant heroes among us. Just ask Tom McIntosh, whose life was saved by a complete stranger. 

While lone gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 Route 91 Harvest Festival concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, McIntosh fled for cover, looking for an escape for his wife and himself. After helping his spouse and another woman over a wall to safety, he was shot in the leg. 

"By the time I got over the wall, my pants were already soaked and my shoe was full of blood," he recalled to Today's Savannah Guthrie during Tuesday morning's broadcast. "I wouldn't have made it. I know I wouldn't have, so I'm very thankful that James was there to help me."

McIntosh was referring to James Lawson, an Army reservist who happened to cross paths with McIntosh at the right time. Thanks to the Today team, the two men got the chance to reunite for the first time since Lawson saved McIntosh's life. The two embraced in an emotional hug before Lawson recounted the night from his point of view. 

"There was a belt—a makeshift tourniquet kind of around his knee [in the] completely wrong spot. I walked up there and he was actively bleeding," Lawson recalled to Guthrie. 

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After he used his military and EMT training to properly tend to McIntosh's leg, they got in the bed of another stranger's pickup truck and headed to the hospital. 

"He was actually really cool about it," McIntosh remembered of his savior. "I was terrified."

"I don't remember thinking," Lawson added. "He kept not wanting to lose his foot and I kept reassuring him that. He still got it. We're good."

While Lawson's actions saved his leg, the two men are also grateful to the mystery man with the truck. "I do want to say whoever was driving that maroon F250-350, thank you," Lawson said on live television. "It could have been a whole different night if he wasn't there when he was."

As McIntosh added, "I wouldn't be here."

Despite his bravery, Lawson reminded anyone watching that their story was thankfully one of many.  

"There [were] dozens and dozens of other concertgoers doing the same thing," he said. "They couldn't leave anybody behind. They were running back towards the fire to help more people. There's gotta be hundreds of stories like this one."