Country music star John Rich, half of the duo Big & Rich, had just performed at the country music festival in Las Vegas and was hanging out at a bar he owns when a gunman opened fire on the crowd at the festival.
That’s when an off-duty Minnesota police officer approached him. Rich explained what happened next in an interview on Fox News' “The Five” Monday:
In the bar that I have, we have a big emphasis on veterans and active-duty, we have a lot of police officers that come and hang out there. And so, I had a Minneapolis police officer off-duty was in my bar hanging out and he came up to me and showed me his badge. And he says, "I’m an officer and I am not armed for the first time ever I can’t believe it. Are you armed?"
I said, "Yes sir, I am armed and I have my concealed weapons permit," and I said, "Yes, sir I am armed."
And he goes, "Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on this front door?"
And so I handed over my gun to him, and everybody got behind him and for about two hours, without flinching, this guy kept a point on that front door just in case somebody came through.
Who is the officer?
As Monday rolled on, stories of concertgoers-turned-heroes surfaced and went viral. There's the story of Jonathan Smith, who helped save more than two dozen lives. There’s the story of Taylor Winston, a Marine who spent time in combat zones that commandeered a truck and drove more than two dozen people to the hospital.
Then there are the stories of countless others, many medics, EMTs, nurses and off-duty police officers who helped save hundreds of lives. They will go unnamed, though their actions will never be forgotten.
But Rich wanted to know the man who helped protect his bar and patrons, so he reached out on social media:
Will the off duty officer that used my side arm to protect entrance @RNRBarVegas last night pls contact me? Pls retweet and pass the word.— John Rich (@John Rich) 1506986982.0
Rich was able to locate the officer just a short time later, though the officer said he wanted to remain anonymous:
I found him! He wants to remain anonymous, so I'll respect that wish. He's a Minneapolis officer and we had great t… https://t.co/kxsD2Dq26R— John Rich (@John Rich) 1506991860.0