'There's Not Time For Emotions ... You Have To Act,' Says Marine Who Survived 2 Mass Shootings In Just Over A Year

news
Brendan Kelly speaks with reporters outside his home, as he shows his Route 91 tattoo, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, California.
Associated Press/Ryan Pearson

For the second time in just over a year, Lance Cpl. Brendan Kelly survived a mass shooting by falling back on his Marine Corps training to get to safety — and help others in need.


“There’s not time for emotions to be involved, you have to do,” Kelly, who was at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night, told ABC News. “You have to act. Because people’s lives are on the line.”

On the evening of Nov. 7, a gunman identified as Ian David Long, an ex-Marine and combat vet, entered the bar armed with a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun and opened fire on a crowd of more than 150 people, killing 13. Long reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Kelly said he recognized the distinctive “pop, pop" of gunfire when Long opened fire.

"Being in the military, being in the Marine Corps, I'm aware of what that sounds like — especially in an enclosed area," he told ABC News

Kelly is currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, Maj. Roger Hollenbeck, a Marine Corps spokesman, confirmed to Task & Purpose.

Like a number of the regular patrons at the Borderline Bar and Grill, Kelly is also a survivor of last year’s deadly shooting in Las Vegas. The bar had become a regular meeting place for survivors of the October 2017 attack that left 58 dead, the Associated Press reports.

“Everywhere I go, everything I do is affected,” Kelly told the Associated Press the day after the Thousand Oaks bar shooting. “I don’t sit in a room with my back to the door. You’re always picking up on social cues. You’re always over-analyzing people, trying to figure out if something were to go down, ‘What would I do?’”

During last year’s shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, Kelly said he threw a friend to the ground before helping other bystanders get to safety, hunkering down for hours until help arrived.

When the gunfire erupted on Wednesday, Kelly again sprung into action, telling the Associated Press that he threw two of his friends to the floor, shielding them with his body.

Kelly said he dragged one woman out of the building through an emergency exit, and, using his belt and a t-shirt, applied a tourniquet to the bleeding arm of a wounded friend.

“I already didn’t wish it on anybody to begin with for the first time,” Kelly said the Associated Press interview. “The second time around doesn’t get any easier.”

WATCH NEXT:

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Two military bases in Florida and one in Arizona will see heat indexes over 100 degrees four months out of every year if steps aren't taken to reduce carbon emissions, a new study warns.

Read More Show Less

This Veterans Day, two post-9/11 veterans-turned congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation to have a memorial commemorating the Global War on Terrorism built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Between 500 and 600 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Syria when all is said and done, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley said on Sunday.

Milley's comments on ABC News' "This Week" indicate the U.S. military's footprint in Syria will end up being roughly half the size it was before Turkey invaded Kurdish-held northeast Syria last month.

Read More Show Less
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a fund-raising fish fry for U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Associated Press/Charlie Neibergall)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — On Veterans Day, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is proposing a "veteran-centric" Department of Veterans Affairs that will honor the service of the men and women of the military who represent "the best of who we are and what we can be."

Buttigieg, who served as a Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan, said service members are united by a "shared commitment to support and defend the United States" and in doing so they set an example "for us and the world, about the potential of the American experiment."

Read More Show Less
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a Climate Crisis Summit with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (not pictured) at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 9, 2019. (Reuters/Scott Morgan)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders promised on Monday to boost healthcare services for military veterans if he is elected, putting a priority on upgrading facilities and hiring more doctors and nurses for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To mark Monday's Veterans Day holiday honoring those who served in the military, Sanders vowed to fill nearly 50,000 slots for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals at facilities run by Veterans Affairs during his first year in office.

Sanders also called for at least $62 billion in new funding to repair, modernize and rebuild hospitals and clinics to meet what he called the "moral obligation" of providing quality care for those who served in the military.

Read More Show Less