Updated May 17, 2018 - 12:26 am
Her husband had his hand halfway around her waist when he was shot. Pressed up against her, Brad Powers moved with every whizzing bullet, but this time he flinched.
“Babe, I’ve been shot,” he whispered.
As a sergeant with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in California, he knew how to act in such situations. Stay calm.
But his tan shorts were saturated in blood. The bullet had entered his left side, just above his pelvis.
The scene was described in detail by his wife, Kristin Powers, in a 46-page statement to Las Vegas police Oct. 3. The statement was among hundreds of documents released Wednesday, under court order, in connection with the mass shooting Oct. 1.
That night at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Kirstin Powers desperately tried to find her husband’s wound, but it was too dark.
Amid the sound of buzzing bullets, she undid his pants. Her hand felt slick with blood.
“Somebody give me their shirt!” she yelled.
Concertgoers crawled about 20 feet away, under the stage, out of direct fire. She dragged her 6-foot-3-inch, 310-pound man underneath the stage, where their friends had taken cover.
“I need you to stay with us,” she told them. “I can’t move him. He’s too big.”
The woman still needed to get her husband medical attention.
They scooped him up under his arms and pulled him backwards. His bald head dragged on the ground.
‘House of death’
“We made it to House of Blues,” Kristin Powers recounted to police. “And it was the house of death.”
Bodies. Everywhere. She had expected it to be a triage area.
She found a folding plastic table nearby and pulled her husband onto it.
“I’m wide awake. I’m fine,” he assured her. He turned clammy.
Everybody in the House of Blues had disappeared, and Kristin Powers still needed to get her husband help.
Their friends, one a sergeant and the other a detective, helped lift him up and run east out of the restaurant and onto a sidewalk.
“There was bodies in wheelbarrows,” Kristin Powers said.
She laid her husband in the street, over a metal piece on the folding table, but someone told her to give the table back.
Kirstin Powers grabbed a young medical professional by the arm and ripped open his bag to pick out whatever dressings she could find for her husband’s wound. Others grabbed at the young man’s arms to get his attention as he inserted an IV into Brad Powers’ arm.
People tried to flag down cars, and some drivers floored it as fast as they could around the corner.
“A lot of them were yelling, like ‘We don’t want the responsibility,’ ” she said.
When she saw a truck pull up, Kristen Powers opened the driver’s side door.
The driver, visibly upset, wanted to leave. “Get your hands off my truck.”
The two women made eye contact, and the driver said, “Throw him in the back. Let’s go.”
Fighting for help
They made it to the back of the truck, and so did a girl with a gaping, double chest wound.
Brad Powers looked back at his wife. “And she’s going with me, right?”
Around them, physical fights ensued to get victims help, into cars and straight to the hospital. Brad Powers’ IV ripped out, and blood squirted.
“There’s blood everywhere,” the driver said.
“I don’t give a s—-, I will give you my brand new Tahoe,” Kristin Powers said. “I will buy you a brand new truck. I don’t care. I’ll buy you two trucks. Just get us there.”
When they pulled up to the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, the place was bumper to bumper with victims. When the back of the tailgate was pulled down, blood poured out. It was her husband’s.
The girl next to him lay completely unconscious.
“You need to go first,” Brad Powers told her repeatedly.
Within two seconds, the color lifted from his body. He was shaking with shock. In the emergency room, he had no pulse.
Today, the 19-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department works in civil liabilities — traffic collisions involving sheriff’s vehicles — at the downtown station.
“It’s good. I’m back to work,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday. He declined to discuss the shooting further.
He and his wife were celebrating their 12-year anniversary that weekend and were eager to get home to their kids. Their 8-year-old has had four open-heart surgeries, and they didn’t want him to see his dad in the hospital.
His surgery saved his life, but he also credits his wife. But to Kristin Powers, her husband saved hers when he took a bullet for her at the concert.
“If it had been me at the angle, it would have gone completely through me and ripped me in half,” she said. “So it’s hard. It’s like, like you saved my life. No, you saved mine.”