'I couldn't just leave her': Las Vegas man carried wounded Manitoba woman to ambulance after shooting

A Las Vegas bartender who helped rescue a wounded Manitoba woman during the chaos of Sunday's mass shooting says he couldn't just leave her behind.

Justin Uhart, who was bartending at music festival, rode with Jan Lambourne in ambulance

Justin Uhart stopped to help Manitoba's Jan Lambourne when he saw her wounded on the ground during the Las Vegas shooting. (Justin Uhart/Facebook)

A Las Vegas bartender who led the rescue of a wounded Manitoba woman during the chaos of Sunday's mass shooting said there was no way he could leave her behind.

"I just saw the blood and … I just had to stop and help her, and try to get her some help, any way I could," Justin Uhart, 26, said of Teulon's Jan Lambourne.

"She was screaming for help. She was in a lot, a lot of pain. I did what I could." 

During the hysteria of the minutes-long shooting spree, while people were scattering for cover, Uhart said he saw two people die.

Uhart was bartending at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival off the Las Vegas strip when he heard gunfire and ran toward the stage, hoping to find the source.

"You just start hearing the 'ta-ta-ta-ta-ta.' My first instinct was fight or flight, is the best way I could describe it," he said.

Once he realized the shooter wasn't in the crowd, he started shouting for people to run.

"I just yelled it at as many people as I could and people started running."

Shot in the abdomen

Before the eruption of pandemonium, Lambourne was standing in the crowd of roughly 22,000 and enjoying the music when she heard a long series of rapid bursts.

She initially thought it was fireworks but seconds later she fell to the ground, shot in the abdomen, her pelvis shattered.

The shots were fired from the window of a 32nd-floor suite in the Mandalay Bay casino hotel. The gunman, identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, took his own life before police made their way into his suite.

Manitoba woman recounts horror of Las Vegas shooting

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Duration 4:24
A Teulon woman who was shot in Las Vegas on Sunday says adrenaline made it possible for her to run to safety despite a shattered pelvis. Jan Lambourne was with a friend at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the shooting started. Lambourne collapsed when she was shot in the pelvis.

At least 59 people, including Paddock, were killed and more than 525 injured, including Lambourne and her friend, Jody Ansell, also from Manitoba.

Ansell was shot in the lower part of her right arm, the bullet passing right through. She and Lambourne became separated as adrenaline kicked in and drove them in different directions.

As the crowd scrambled, screaming and crying, Uhart recalled how there would be a sickening silence as the gunman stopped between barrages to prepare another round.

"But during that time, you hear the shots, and the shots just keep coming and coming, and then you hear him reload, and then coming and coming, and then reload," he said.

"In those times when there was no sound, people would run."

In the crowd in front of the stage, Uhart believes he saw two people killed. In the lull between shots, he ran, too.

"That's when I saw Jan," he said.

Lambourne told CBC News on Tuesday that Uhart saved her life after her found her hiding inside a merchandise tent on the festival grounds.

He ran off and returned with three more people who helped carry Lambourne about 100 yards to a parking lot where paramedics were triaging victims.

Uhart stayed with her there, comforting her.

A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside of a music festival along the Las Vegas Strip on Monday. (John Locher/Associated Press)

"I promised Jan I wouldn't leave her," he said.

"She didn't know anybody and she was just terrified. She's from Canada and didn't know the area. I would have been terrified. Everybody was scared."

He said he just tried to calm her down and get her mind off the situation as much as that was possible.

"I probably said some really stupid things. I know I talked to her about her cats and which one's smart," he said.

Vegas bartender describes saving Manitoba victim

5 years ago
Duration 8:25
Justin Uhart helped save Jan Lambourne after she was shot and severely injured at Sunday's mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas.

"I've never been to Canada so I talked to her about that — little things because I didn't want her to think about her wound. There was a lot of blood and she had a death grip on my hand." 

When Lambourne was being taken to a hospital, he climbed into the ambulance and rode along, continuing to hold her hand.

At the hospital, he stayed beside her and used Lambourne's phone to call her family and let them know what happened. 

Once Lambourne was taken into the operating room, doctors told Uhart he had to leave.

It's been a lot of very overwhelming stuff in the past couple of days. It was nuts.- Justin Uhart

He has since heard that she is recovering from surgery and hopes to go visit her in the hospital. When told that Lambourne credits him with saving her life, Uhart paused for a long time before responding.

"I was just there to help. And there was many, many other people that were there doing the same thing," he said. "I couldn't just leave her."

Uhart is also trying to re-assemble a bit of his own life.

Drapes billow out of broken windows at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on Monday, following the deadly shooting in Las Vegas. (John Locher/Associated Press)

"It's been a lot of very overwhelming stuff in the past couple of days," he said. "It was nuts. I think everybody's still in shock. It's a really weird feeling.

'It's just going to take some time, honestly."

He hasn't been able to retrieve his car, keys, phone or wallet from the concert site yet. And he hasn't been sleeping well, either, haunted by the incident and sick to his stomach.

Uhart said military training he did with the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps helped him during the shooting.

He moved to Vegas nine months ago and has lately been bartending on the side, waiting for his background check to be completed before he starts a job as a mortgage banker.

He praised the work of first responders and law enforcement during and after the shooting and said Vegas has come together in the wake of the tragedy.

"We've just got to remember this. Why does it have to be something so bad to bring us together? Why can't we be together like this all the time and put away our side differences?" he said.

"Everybody has different opinions, but no reason to get all political in it. Just be nice, I guess. Help each other out."