(FOX 46 WJZY) - A young woman who witnessed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history has a United States Marine to thank for saving her life.
Jenn Cesario said her little sister, Renee Cesario, met Brendan Kelly just hours earlier during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Renee Cesario had traveled from Riverside County, California for the festivities.
Rennee and Brendan had decided to try to move up closer to the stage for Jason Aldean's set, one of the final performances of the night.
"Brendan and I met only two hours before the Jason Aldean show. I left my friends so we could go up super close to the front for the end of the night. We were just dancing and having fun and then all of the sudden there were loud noises that sounded like fireworks, but no lights were going off. It stopped, and Jason Aldean kept playing but then the shots fired again and he ran off the stage.
Before I knew what was going on, Brendan tackled me down to the ground and covered me from the fire. It stopped again and he looked around to see what was happening and then it just kept going. He looked at me and said 'We have to get out of here. We can't stay here. It's not safe.' Then he pulled my arm up to get me out of the piles of people. We had no idea who was dead or who was alive. We just started to run. He kept telling me it was going to be okay and to keep running until we were safe. He even let me use his phone to stay in touch with my sister so she knew I was safe, which is the text you'll see. The whole night he didn't leave my side."
Jenn Cesario tells FOX 46 Charlotte they're all in touch with each other and calls Brendan Kelly the epitome of a hero. "God was really watching out for my little sister."