Tacoma cop awarded police department's Medal of Valor for actions at Vegas shooting

(Photo: Tacoma Police Dept.)

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma Police Officer Aaron McNeely on Monday was awarded the department's Medal of Valor for "extraordinary act of bravery and heroism" during the mass shooting Las Vegas on Oct. 1.

McNeely was on vacation in Las Vegas when America’s deadliest mass shooting occurred at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Resort. A gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured. Stephen Paddock, 64, fired more than 1,100 rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay before killing himself. His motive remains unknown.

"Officer McNeely was not attending a concert there but ran toward the venue when he heard gunfire," the Tacoma Police Department said on its Facebook page. "As victims streamed out, he ran in and immediately found a woman lying on the ground – shot twice in the back and bleeding profusely. He used his shirt to plug her wounds, instructed her friends to apply pressure and ran 200 yards to an ambulance. With the paramedics’ permission, he drove the ambulance back to the woman and loaded her inside, where she received life-saving medical attention.

"He then took up a position at a checkpoint nearest the hotel to ensure the shooter did not escape with the people fleeing the venue, at one point grabbing a Las Vegas Metro Police traffic vest and falling in line with a local SWAT team as they responded to the scene," the department said.

"For his extraordinary act of bravery and heroism, Officer Aaron McNeely has just been awarded the Tacoma Police Department Medal of Valor. Thank you Officer McNeely for embodying this department’s core values, you’re an asset to the City of Tacoma."