MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the hundreds of Las Vegas shooting victims fighting to survive is a Minnesota native.
Thirty-six-year-old Philip Aurich, of St. Paul, was in surgery Monday afternoon after taking a bullet to the back Sunday night, when a gunman opened fire on concert-goers at a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip.
Over the weekend, Aurich shared his excitement to see the Route 91 Harvest Festival. In a Facebook post early Sunday morning, he wrote: “Tonight is one of those nights you won’t soon forget #route91harvest.”
On Sunday night, as Aurich and his girlfriend watched headliner Jason Aldean perform, Aurich took a bullet to the back. A nearby police officer got him into a police cruiser and rushed him to the hospital, where he underwent two surgeries.
Aurich, who currently lives in Las Vegas, attended Concordia Academy in Roseville, where his father was a longtime teacher and football coach.
“His dad taught here and coached here for over 45 years,” said school principal and family friend Tim Berner.
Berner, who is also a pastor, spoke with Aurich’s father in the aftermath of the shooting.
“I asked the only question I could, which is: ‘How are you doing?’ a lame question in many ways,” Berner said. “His response kind of took me back. He said, ‘Right now, I’m super busy, that’s good, getting ready to pack and get on the flight, but I’m dreading the flight when I have time to think.'”
Aurich’s family says he is having his second surgery Monday afternoon. They say that while he is on a breathing apparatus, it appears he is breathing on his own.
Monday night, Aurich’s family said doctors are happy with how his surgery went. They plan to keep him sedated Monday night and try to wake him Tuesday morning, assuming his vitals remain strong.
More than 500 others were injured in the shooting. At least 59 were killed. The massacre is being called the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The suspected gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rounds from an upper floor room at the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.
He was found dead at the scene with as many as 10 firearms. According to published reports, Paddock committed suicide.
In a televised address to the country, President Donald Trump extended sympathies to the victims and their families.
To help families and victims affected by the shooting, you can donate to a GoFundMe set up by the Clark County Commission Chair.