A Manhattan Beach police officer killed in a motorcycle crash on Wednesday was a survivor of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas who risked his life saving others during the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Chad Swanson, 35 years old and a 13-year veteran of the department, was killed early Wednesday morning when he was involved in a crash on the 405 Freeway while riding his department-issued motorcycle, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department.
He is survived by his wife and three young sons. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
“He had an infectious smile and was always positive. He was simply a joy to work with every day,” Manhattan Beach Police Lt. Kelly Benjamin said at a news conference Wednesday. “He personally was responsible for saving several lives and helping rescue victims out of that area.”
Swanson was a motorcycle officer since 2017 and had previously received a Medal of Valor award after helping save a burglar who had cut himself while punching through the window of a business, according to the Daily Breeze.
Swanson attended the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas in 2017 along with four other off-duty Manhattan Beach Police Department officers, including Rachael Parker, who was among the 58 killed in the shooting.
Swanson risked his life saving others during the mayhem. As Stephen Paddock unloaded thousands of bullets on the people at the festival from a 32nd-floor suite at Mandalay Bay, Swanson weaved through the crowd applying tourniquets and carrying people to safety, according to the Daily Breeze.
He was hit in the arm by a bullet fragment.
“I just wanted to try to help as many people as I could,” Swanson said at the time. “At a certain point, we realized that there were no more people in the concert venue that were alive that we could help. We canvassed the whole area to make sure we didn’t miss anybody.”
Donations made to our memorial fund helped a deputy retrofit his home to allow him to care for his 17-year-old son who was badly injured in a car accident, assisted the family of another young deputy battling cystic fibrosis, a disease that would eventually take his life, and provided food and lodging for family members keeping vigil by the hospital bed of a Medal of Courage recipient who collapsed during SWAT tryouts.