Los Angeles

Slain U.S. Army Veteran Sacrificed Life to Save Others in Las Vegas Shooting, Remembered in Vigil

"He put (his wife) to safety and did what he had to do as a police officer and started helping others," one Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer said

A sea of candles illuminated the Thursday night sky as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department held a vigil to honor one of their own: 34-year-old Charleston Hartfield, who was killed in Sunday's massacre.

Charleston, who was off-duty, attended the country music Route 91 Harvest Festival with his wife. They were enjoying the live music when a gunman rained bullets upon the thousands of festival attendants, killing a total of 58 concertgoers.

"He loved his country, his community, he loved his family," one officer said to the thousands of attendants who were present to show their respects for the slain officer.

Hartfield, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, was a 16-year Army veteran who served in Iraq before joining the LVMPD. He heroically sacrificed his life to do his duty and escort other panicked concertgoers to safety after he made sure his wife was safe.

"He put her to safety and did what he had to do as a police officer and started helping others," Officer Jake Grunwald of the LVMPD said.

While selflessly saving the lives of others, he was fatally struck by a bullet. He is fondly remembered for motivating his peers and for his upbeat disposition.

"He's a man who walked around and always encouraged other people," Captain William Scott of the LVMPD said. "He always had a smile on his face."

Hartfield touched the lives of many as a popular football coach and proud member of the Las Vegas law enforcement.

"He is the ideal American," LVMPD Sgt. Ryan Fryman said. "He is Captain America."

The slain veteran leaves behind his widowed wife and two children. He recently published a book, Memoirs of a Public Servant, where he documented his thoughts and experiences as an officer for the LVMPD.

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