San Pedro crane mechanic shot while shielding his wife during Las Vegas mass shooting
A San Pedro crane mechanic was shot in the back while protecting his wife at the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas, where 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history.
Mike Ljubic, 41, who works at the Port of Los Angeles, underwent two surgeries Monday morning and will remain in an induced coma for 24 to 48 hours but is expected to survive.
Ljubic and his wife, Michelle, were among a group of longshore workers who were attending the annual concert for the third year.
One of them, John Iacono, 43, described a horrific and chaotic scene as they came under fire and had to run for their lives.
“We were on the left side of the stage and heard a couple shots,” he said. “But, like everyone else, we thought they were fireworks. Then one of our friends from the docks, Doug (Cotter, 48, of Garden Grove), ran over and yelled ‘I got shot!’ and we all hit the deck and covered our wives.”
Cotter was struck in the arm by a bullet that also traveled to his intestines. He underwent surgery and remains hospitalized as well. Another member of the party, Ambrose Russo, who was standing next to Iacono, was shot in the leg and is recovering.
“When the shots stopped for a few seconds, we all got up and Michelle saw that Mike was hit so she got him up and we all started running,” Iacono said. “Every time the the shots started again, we’d get down for cover.”
The group scaled fences and dove under cars as they fled and tried to stay out of the line of fire, he said.
“It was so surreal, honestly, you’re just in survival mode, we must have had a guardian angel,” Iacono said. “The shots made different sounds so I think he had different guns.”