On Sunday night, a gunman opened fire on thousands of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more. Milwaukee Brewers prospect Bowdien “Bubba” Derby was among the crowd.
Derby, a right-handed pitcher who spent most of this season in Triple-A with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, was standing with several family members when shots began to ring out. The California native stayed calm through the crisis, shielding two women as the bullets flew.
The women revealed the details of Derby’s heroic actions in a pair of Facebook statuses obtained by Yahoo Sports. Their surnames were redacted to protect their privacy.
“23-year-old Bowdien Derby not only helped to shield my friend Darci [name redacted] and I (two complete strangers) from what seemed like endless gunfire, but he stayed by our side all night long until we could get back to our friends,” wrote one of the women, known as Jori. “Bowdien grabbed our hands and ran us to safety which was certainly no easy feat. If he didn’t make us get up and run from the gunfire, I probably wouldn’t have moved.”
“I knew this man for 5 minutes before the gunshots started and now we are bonded forever,” wrote her friend, Darci. “A million thank yous to Bowdien Derby for his fearlessness and compassion. Thank you to his family for allowing us into their hotel room. Everyone is thanking me for helping others. This man is the one to thank!”
Derby was standing with his girlfriend, cousin, and aunt when shots began to fly, while his sister and her husband were further away in the crowd. All of his family members escaped unharmed.
But while Derby exhibited tremendous cool under pressure, he was terrified during the incident. He opened up about his experience in an interview with TMZ.
“I remember looking in [my aunt’s] eyes, and it was that look of ‘Are we about to die? Is this it for us?'” he said. “I ended up covering two girls we had met in the group there … We were just trying to cover them from any kind of fire coming around. You could hear the bullets ricocheting off the ground.”
But as incredible as his actions were, Derby said he isn’t the only one who deserves credit. He heaped praise upon the first responders at the scene.
“The law enforcement, they were sprinting towards the gunfire,” he said. “Everyone’s sitting ducks out there, and those guys did whatever they had to do to make sure we were protected. I can’t thank them enough.”
Derby wasn’t the only professional athlete present at the shooting. On Tuesday, golfer A.J. McInerney revealed his account of the incident to Ron Green Jr. of the Global Golf Post.