Miller: Ducks surprise and recognize local couple injured during Las Vegas shooting
By Jeff Miller
ANAHEIM — The background hysteria, during the first phone call, was pocked with the sound of gunfire.
During the next phone call, Summer Clyburn’s three-word message cut straight through the unsettling commotion: “Pray, pray, pray.”
“Long story short,” Rob Gracia says now, “she told me Michael had been shot in the head.”
Michael Gracia, Rob’s little brother, was one of the more than 500 people injured during the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting four weeks ago in Las Vegas.
Ducks honor O.C. residents affected by Las Vegas shooting
Summer, Michael’s fiancee, was one of the injured, too, though she never mentioned that during either phone call.
She was too concerned about Michael to tell anyone that she had been hit with gunfire in the back after she blanketed Michael’s fallen body, wrapping his head in a shirt and shielding him from further harm.
“A true act of love and heroism,” Ontario councilman Alan Wapner called Summer’s sacrifice, and, for once, referencing a “hero” on the sports pages is completely appropriate.
So was the standing ovation this couple received recently during the first period of a Ducks game, the team recognizing them on Law Enforcement Appreciation Night, Michael, 24, a policeman in Ontario.
He’s also such an enormous Ducks fan that he converted Summer – “I’m more of a football kind of girl,” she says – and convinced her to, as a surprise birthday present when they first started dating, buy him tickets to a game.
“We love the Ducks, so we thank them for their support,” Summer says. “We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers of everyone. The support means everything. It’s beyond words.”
Separated after Michael was placed in the care of paramedics, the couple ended up in the same Las Vegas hospital on the night of […]