Thomas Gunderson was shot in the leg during the horror that was Sunday night’s mass murder in Las Vegas. But he still managed to stand to greet the President and First Lady when they visited him at the hospital.
The President and First Lady visited Vegas on Wednesday to speak with first responders, doctors, police, and survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
With over 500 people injured, the First Family visited a hospital where many of the survivors were recovering. Gunderson was one of the many people who was injured in the attack and spoke with the President and First Lady.
Teen Las Vegas shooting victim found President Trump's visit "comforting," telling reporters, "he wasn't who we see on social media." pic.twitter.com/MxCrqWlYPL
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 5, 2017
“I will never lie down when the president of this great country comes to shake my hand!” Gunderson wrote on Facebook. “There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president, and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my president the respect he deserves!”
The video went viral almost instantly, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“Don’t get up,” Melanie Trump said after entering the hospital room. “Are you OK?”
“Hey, this guy looks tough to me,” President Trump said as he entered Gunderson’s room after the first lady.
Gunderson was not the only Las Vegas shooting survivor who found the president’s trip motivational. One woman told reporters that his visit was “comforting,” adding, “He wasn’t who we see on social media.”
Investigators on Thursday were still piecing together the life of the gunman who killed 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas, and remained at a loss to explain what drove him to commit the massacre, The New York Times reports.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday referred to the gunman, Stephen Paddock, as “disturbed,” but said that much of the past 10 years of his life was a mystery. “What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” he said.
“Don’t you think the concealment of his history, of his life, was well-thought-out?” the sheriff asked. “It’s incumbent upon us as professionals to dig that up.”
Investigators on Wednesday confirmed that the gunman, had left a note inside his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “It was not a suicide note — I’m comfortable saying that,” Sheriff Lombardo said.
“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Marilou Danley, the gunman’s girlfriend, said in her first public statement on Wednesday.
Of the 489 people injured in the shooting, 317 have been discharged from hospitals and about 50 are in critical condition.
Chief Greg Cassell of the Clark County Fire Department said on Thursday that several factors complicated the department’s response to the mass shooting, but he praised the emergency responders as heroic.
“We had a lot of challenges with this event,” Mr. Cassell said at a news conference. Wounded concertgoers fled to various hotels and called 911 from there, he said. “By the time it got relayed, it was ‘There’s a shooter at this location,’ ” he said. “It was, ‘People were shot.’ ”