Kenny Rogers Impersonator Is One of the Heroes of the Las Vegas Shooting
One of the everyday heroes who assisted victims of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 was Richard Hampton, a Kenny Rogers impersonator.
Hampton, who is based in Las Vegas as a Rogers impersonator, was enjoying the show with his wife Cheryl when a gunman began raining bullets down onto the crowd of spectators gathered to watch Jason Aldean's headlining set during the final night of the festival. The couple originally thought it was just fireworks going off, but when they saw people running for their lives and others dropping to the ground around them, they knew something was gravely wrong.
The Hamptons turned from ordinary citizens into life-saving heroes after they made it to their minivan to escape the horror, when a group of young women approached the car and begged them to let them in.
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"They were scared to death. I told them, 'Stay calm, girls, I’m going to get you to a safe place,'" Hampton recalls in a personal essay for Esquire. Just as they were about to pull away, they were waved down by another woman whose friend had been shot and was bleeding profusely. As the others consoled her in the back, Hampton raced toward the hospital with his blinkers on, and says that while he's normally "relatively nuts," he was surprisingly very calm during such a jarring time.
"My wife later asked me how I remained so calm, and I think it’s just human nature. Someone needed my help, so I helped them no questions asked. It was simple," he writes. "I don’t feel like I saved them or anything, it’s just human decency." Hampton adds that when it comes to how to treat others, he follows the example of the legendary country star he makes his living by paying tribute to.
"I believe in love and human goodness. I’m kinda like Kenny in that way, I guess. He sings about true love and being kind to others," Hampton says. "I think he’d be proud of what I did."
The shooting victim, Jennifer, remained in critical condition as of Oct. 3, and Hampton says, "all I want is her to make it out of this alive."
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