Local News


Teen Army Private saves sisters, concert-goer amid chaos

Posted at 11:54 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 14:31:20-04

Jacquelyn Trujillo trained for combat in far-off lands. She had no idea the battlefield would be right here at home.

Trujillo, a private, recently came back from basic training with the Army National Guard. Her family took her to the Route 91 Harvest Festival to celebrate. "It was like a dream come true,"
Trujillo said.
Then, her sisters heard what they thought were fireworks. “They all said, 'oh fireworks. It's the speakers,' " Trujillo said. 

Trujillo knew from her military training those loud popping noises were not fireworks. "We had to low crawl while they were firing rounds above our heads-so the sound is really familiar to me," Trujillo said.

All Trujillo could think about was getting her two younger sisters, 15-year-old Isabella, and 13-year-old Francesca, to safety. “I got my sisters and i was like we’re not going to run. We’re not going to freak out. Just walk with me toward the exit,” Trujillo said. "It was like being in a war zone."

Francesca Trujillo said they ran for cover, zig-zagging, the way Jacquleyn learned in the Army. "She completely flipped into military mode," Francesca Trujillo said.

The teenage sisters, in the chaos and carnage, ducked behind a wall, meeting Tammy Dean.  "They saved me," Dean said.

Dean had gotten separated from her husband, daughter and son-in-law to be. Moments earlier, she watched as bullets hit a man to next her. "I thought ‘there's no way I was going to make it out.’" Dean said.

Jacquelyn, a 17-year-old senior at Arbor View High school, took charge. “She really took care of us and kept us calm and she kept me from doing something stupid like going inside looking for family," Dean said.
Dean said, through her tears, Jacquleyn is nothing short of courageous. “She’s' a hero and I can' wait to see her grow up. I am so blessed to have you as a friend," Dean said to Trujillo. "Thank you so much and I'm glad that I have you in my life too," Trujillo answered.

Trujillo has no time to revel in her heroism. There's homework to do and senior year to finish. 

Trujillo said she wants to go to UNLV and eventually re-enlist as an officer