Man in iconic photo shielding woman during Las Vegas massacre identified

The man seen shielding a young woman from Las Vegas massacre gunfire in an iconic photo has been identified.

 

The photo, taken by Getty photographer David Becker, shows US Cavalry Scout Matthew Cobos protecting an unidentified woman by lying on top of her as Stephen Paddock open-fired.

Mr Cobos is understood to have told those close to him he could hear bullets hitting the ground, News Corp has reported.

The photo shows US Cavalry Scout Matthew Cobos protecting an unidentified woman by lying on top of her as Stephen Paddock open-fired. Photo: Getty

He serves in the Cavalry Scouts, who act as the “eyes and ears of the commander during battle".

Both Mr Cobos and the woman in the photograph managed to escape the gunfire.

Revealed: Las Vegas gunman booked hotel rooms overlooking an earlier music festival

Mr Becker, who was taking photos of the festival performers, said he had no idea how serious the situation was until he saw people on the ground.

“It had been so dark outside I couldn’t see the details, I just saw a lot of people lying on the ground thinking they were playing possum, but now I could see people covered in blood and I thought, this is real," he said.

“When I stop and think, it’s hard to comprehend what I witnessed. I was on autopilot, just doing my job capturing what was happening, which I think is important."

Mr Cobos is understood to have told those close to him he could hear bullets hitting the ground. Photo: Facebook

He serves in the Cavalry Scouts, acting as the “eyes and ears of the commander during battle.” Photo: Facebook

Paddock, a professional gambler and property investor, meticulously planned the massacre by choosing a luxury suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino with a view over a country music festival attended by 22,000 people.

Paddock is believed to have killed himself in his room, although the sheriff said there was evidence he planned to make a getaway.

His Australian girlfriend, Marilou Danley, claims Paddock duped her into flying to the Philippines a fortnight before the killing spree.

The 62-year-old flew back from the Philippines to Los Angeles on Tuesday night and was interviewed by FBI agents on Wednesday.

"A little more than two weeks ago Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to visit my family," she said in a statement read by her Los Angeles lawyer, Matthew Lombard.

When he wired money - reportedly $US100,000 ($A127,150) - to her in the Philippines to buy a house, she presumed he was breaking up with her.

Paddock planned the massacre by choosing a luxury suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino with a view over a country music festival attended by 22,000 people. Photo: Getty

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