North Pole man returns home after surviving Las Vegas shooting

Published: Oct. 23, 2017 at 10:56 PM AKDT
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Roughly three weeks after surviving the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, 52-year old Robert McIntosh, returns home to North Pole.

McIntosh says he and his friend were about 5 feet away from the stage at the Route 91 country music concert in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 when gunfire erupted. He says at first they mistook the sound of gunfire for fireworks, with the second round striking McIntosh.

"It was like someone hit me with a truck," said McIntosh. "I just flew back through the air, I mean off of my feet. And immediately when I looked down and saw the blood coming out of me, and it was pouring out, it wasn’t just a little trickle, I had big holes in my chest, I knew I’d been shot.”

Instantly McIntosh says he used his fingers to compress the wounds, hiding underneath the stage while the bullets continued to fly. He says he thought about his wife, kids and grand kids as motivation to stay awake and stay alive.

It's unclear how many times McIntosh was shot, although doctors believe, though hard to imagine, one bullet could explain the four entry and exit wounds on his chest and the bullet found in his left arm. A bullet that that almost killed him, missing a major artery by about 2 millimeters.

"I’m fortunate to be here, I really am," McIntosh said. "I could have died that day and been [the 59th] – I don’t really ever think I took my life for granted, but this just makes me a little more aware."

Since the shooting, McIntosh has had surgery on his left arm and has seen a doctor nearly every day to pack the wounds to his chest. At this time he has lost feeling in two fingers and his thumb, with the potential that they may never heal. Mcintosh says he has also only just started to read details about the shooting, saying even though he lived through it, he still hasn't processed that he was there.

Although many details remain hazy for McIntosh, he says he will never forget that when the bullets started flying, instead of running away, many people ran back to help victims.

Three Alaskans were shot during the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas. McIntosh was the only survivor.