The world changed for many people on Sunday night. After a shooter opened fire on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of a hotel in Las Vegas, at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. It was and still remains a dark day for humanity; and yet, there were a few moments of human kindness that deserve mention. Some that deserve repeating over and over, to remind us there is still goodness here. When the internet — which can oftentimes be a dark and lonely place — banded together to help a mom find her 5-year-old son after the Las Vegas shooting, it was a beautiful reminder of the inherent goodness of so many people.
Little Aden Huser was watching country singer Jason Aldean perform, according to ABC News, along with the rest of the crowd gathered at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night when the worst happened. The shooter, hiding in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, shot into the crowd of approximately 22,000 concertgoers, CNN reported. And as gunfire rang out through the crowd, Aden was separated from his aunt by a frantic rush of people trying to avoid being shot, as ABC News recounted. His mother, Doris Huser, and sister were in the bathroom. They lost sight of the little boy... after searching for him for two hours, his mother was left to imagine the worst. She told ABC News:
The whole crowd just started rushing right at me. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, but screaming did no good. It did nothing, we couldn't find them.
Fortunately, she had a few guardian angels (and access to social media) on her side.
Lindsey Rogers, another concertgoer, happened to have found refuge in a nearby merchandise tent when she caught sight of the 5-year-old boy, according to ABC News. He had fallen and was all alone. She made a decision: she had to save the little boy. Rogers explained in a message to ABC News:
I was nervous to take him because 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. The shots were so sporadic and it wasn’t stopping so we took a chance.
As for Aden, he told the Tribune Media Wire he did his best to stay calm, "I lost her and I was sad because it was just me and my aunt and I didn’t know where my sister was so I didn’t know where to run."
Rogers reportedly scooped Aden up in her arms and ran for a nearby motel. She and her friends tried to contact police to help locate Aden's family, and were told to head for the nearest medical center as The Mirror reported. To "cast the biggest net," several people posted Aden's picture on social media.
And the internet began to do its best work.
Aden's picture was shared more than 12,000 times all over social media, until his grandfather's phone number was somehow dropped into Rogers' inbox. A meeting at the hospital was arranged and Aden was then reunited with his mother.
"All I remember is seeing my son come out of the garage door and I dropped to my knees," Huser recalled the emotional reunion for the Tribune Media Wire. "He ran as hard as he could to me and we were like one for a second. He just held on to me so tight."
In the aftermath of Sunday's events, it's difficult to feel any sort of hope. It's difficult to imagine that this world is anything but dark, cold, and frightening. But that's why it's so important to remember that there are people who stopped for this little boy in the midst of all the panic and chaos. And this was just one of the heroic moments that'll stick with many for years to come.