Aden Huser, 5, survived the Las Vegas shooting. Screenshot from Chris Cunningham Facebook
Aden Huser, 5, survived the Las Vegas shooting. Screenshot from Chris Cunningham Facebook

National

She went to the bathroom in Vegas. As gunfire began, she couldn’t find her 5-year-old

By Josh Magness

jmagness@mcclatchy.com

October 03, 2017 07:55 AM

UPDATED October 03, 2017 01:23 PM

Doris Huser was on her way back from the bathroom when gunfire rang out at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.

Not far away, Doris’ 5-year-old son Aden was with his aunt watching Jason Aldean perform, according to ABC.

But a large crowd of people, fleeing a hail of gunfire from 64-year-old Stephen Paddock that killed at least 59 and injured hundreds more, separated Aden and his aunt.

Now, Aden was alone — and Doris had no idea where he was, or if he was even okay.

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“The whole crowd just started rushing right at me,” Doris said. “I was screaming at the top of my lungs, but screaming did no good. It did nothing, we couldn't find them.”

Luckily, 26-year-old Lindsey Rodgers found little Aden as she ran for cover from the barrage of bullets, which was coming from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort overlooking the festival grounds, according to KTNV.

Aden, confused about what was happening as he hid in the merchandise tent, told Rodgers he was separated from his family when everyone starting running.

Witness describes horror of Las Vegas shooting

Fresno, Calif. resident Crystal Alaniz left to use the restroom during the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the shooting broke out. "I kept praying and I kept hoping that I was going to get out of there alive," she said.

Craig Kohlruss The Fresno Bee

Rodgers knew she had to help, even though she worried about how Aden’s mother would feel when she couldn’t find her son.

“I knew that his mom would be devastated to find that her child was gone, but in the moment we thought that the best decision was to get as many people as safe as possible,” she wrote to ABC News in a message. “The shots were so sporadic and it wasn't stopping so we took a chance.”

So Rodgers carried Aden all the way to the closest building, a Motel 6, where police officers told her to take Aden to the hospital. It was the best place to reunite the child with his family, the cops said.

Chris Cunningham, an off-duty Las Vegas police officer who was with Rodgers, posted an image of Aden online as they waited for transport to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Aden calmly told Cunningham his mother’s name to help find her.

“He was really brave and really good," Rogers said to KTNV. “He didn't cry or anything. I think he was just confused.”

Luckily, Doris and his big sister were just a few buildings down from Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, while his aunt was also safe at a nearby Hooters, according to ABC News.

And thanks to Cunningham’s Facebook post, which garnered hundreds of shares, Aden’s grandfather got in contact with Rodgers and Cunningham two hours after the shooting.

The next morning, Doris was reunited with her little boy — and had no plans of letting go.

“All I remember is seeing my son come out of the garage door and I dropped to my knees," she said to KTNV. “He ran as hard as he could to me and we were like one for a second.

“He just held onto me so tight.”

Taxi driver tries to help Las Vegas concertgoers flee from shooting

Gunfire is heard throughout the video as a taxi driver drives through the area of the Mandalay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1. Festival-goers are seen fleeing the festival, before one couple gets into the taxi. One of the passengers tells the driver "thousands" of people are dead. Officials would later report at least 50 are dead and more than 200 were injured.

Credit: Facebook/Cori Langdon via Storyful