Many of us watched in horror as we saw reports about an active shooter in Las Vegas during the Route 91 Festival. One dad learned about the terrible shooting through a phone call.
His daughter, Ashley, turned to her dad for help as she found herself in the terrifying position of being at the shooting. Like any father would be, this dad was frantic and knew he needed to find his daughter during the massacre.
Most people would want to run away from such danger. It only makes sense that a father wouldn’t even think twice about going toward danger to find his daughter.
We are not as naturally inclined to expect strangers to put themselves in harm’s way to help other strangers, though. Yet, that is exactly what taxi driver John Zerquera-Jimenez did.
The panicked father got into Zerquera-Jimenez’s taxi. He told the driver, “I’ve got to get my daughter.”
He then informed the driver about the shooting which was confirmed over the radio dispatch to the driver saying, “Active shooter. Mandalay Bay.” That could be taken as a warning to stay away, but Zerquera-Jimenez only became more intent on making sure the father in his passenger seat reunited with his daughter.
“Ashley, listen to me. Stay calm,” the father can be heard telling his daughter on the phone. Ashley told her dad to meet her at the Motel 6.
The father knew he was asking the driver to risk his own life as they headed straight toward the shooting. He told the driver, “Listen, I’m gonna give you more money, pal.”
Zerquera-Jimenez refused the offer. In fact, he responded, “I’m a father too. I can do that for free.”
Ashley and her husband ran into the back seat of the taxi. Other concert-goers piled in, hoping to escape from the danger.
Later, after she’d gotten away safely, Ashley sent Zerquera-Jimenez a touching text message. It read, “Hi John, it’s Ashley. Thank you so much for being so brave to come toward the shooting to rescue us. You are a hero and my family and I will always be grateful for your bravery that night.”
Route 91 Harvest Festival posted on Facebook in response to the shooting, “Our eternal gratitude goes out to the LVMPD, Emergency services, security guards, and fans for their selfless acts of bravery while trying to help those in need.” Taxi driver Zerquera-Jimenez was one of those people who showed selfless bravery to help a father and daughter.