As the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history unfolded in Las Vegas Sunday night, hundreds of concertgoers like Heather Gooze were forced to watch strangers die right before their eyes.
Gooze held one victim in her arms as he took his final breaths. To reach his loved ones, she turned to Siri and Facebook, she told CNN.
Gooze was there to comfort 23-year-old Jordan McIldoon for hours as he died from gunshot wounds at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Vegas, People reported. McIldoon was one of the at least 59 killed during the horrific massacre. More than 520 people were injured. The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, killed himself after he used at least 23 firearms, including automatic weapons, to shoot into the crowd from his 32nd-floor hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Gooze and another stranger got ahold of McIldoon’s phone hoping to learn more information about him, only to discover it was locked. Though the contents of the phone couldn’t be accessed without a password, Facebook messages began showing up on his screen. That inspired Gooze to turn to social media for help.
Using her own phone, Gooze searched for McIldoon on Facebook and looked at his profile to find one other person that shared his last name, along with a girl she assumed was his girlfriend. Using Messenger, Gooze sent a picture of McIldoon’s driver’s license, which she retrieved from his wallet to both and asked, “Do you know this man?”
While Gooze was reaching out to McIldoon’s Facebook friends, the 23-year-old’s mom happened to call his phone.
“His phone rang and the guy that I was with answered it. It was Jordan’s mom,” Gooze told CNN. “She confirmed that this was her son and … confirmed he was with Amber, his longterm girlfriend.”
After getting Amber’s number from the woman, Gooze told CNN she called her only to discover that she was in lockdown in the basement of the Tropicana Hotel about a block away.
After breaking the news to Amber that McIldoon didn’t make it, Gooze promised her she would remain with his body until she could arrive.
After hanging up the phone with Amber, Gooze went to contact his mother again, but realized that his phone was still locked. Using quick thinking she “asked Siri to call mom,” and was able to get in touch with her despite the privacy restrictions.
According to People, Gooze stayed with McIIdoon’s body for four whole hours, explaining, “I didn’t want him to be a John Doe.”