On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock open fired on the crowd at the Jason Aldean concert at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
Mykenzie Lane and her boyfriend Brandon Helmick were in the crowd. Paddock killed 58 people that night and injured hundreds of others, one of them was Lane. The couple told Cosmopolitan that when they heard the gunshots, Helmick covered his body over Lane’s.
They both decided to run for cover behind a large storage container. Near the end of their sprint, a bullet grazed Lane’s ankle inhibiting her ability to walk. Helmick scooped Lane up and carried her to safety.
Fast forward to April 2018, a little over six months after the shooting, Helmick got down on one knee and proposed to Lane. Of course, Lane said yes.
Helmick popped the question when they were at Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach, California. He proposed to her on the beach with a heart made out of rose petals on the sand.“I told her, ‘I’ve wanted this from the beginning, and this is everything I want for the future, I love you with all of my heart,” Helmick told Cosmopolitan.
The two grew up together in Tustin, California and have known each other since there were 12 years old. The details of how they met are murky. “I played softball, and he played baseball,” Lane stated. “We’re pretty sure we just crossed paths and had some mutual friends that introduced us.”
Now they’re both in their 20s, and Helmick plays baseball for Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
The couple went on their first date back in 2011 and eventually became exclusive in 2015. They’ve stuck by each others’ side ever since, but nothing is comparable to surviving a shooting together. They say that the shooting was monumental in their relationship.
“Our relationship was strengthened tremendously,” says Helmick. “After she was hit [by a bullet], I knew she needed help, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop that from happening.”
They plan on getting married later this year on August 3, which is their anniversary.