Braden Matejka, 30, was one of more than 500 injured in the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that also left 58 people dead. When the shooting first broke out at the Route 91 country music festival, Matejka and girlfriend Amanda Homulos sought shelter in a tent. When the tent came under fire, the B.C. couple decided to make a run for it. As they were running, Matejka was struck by a bullet in the back of the head.
Matejka was one of the first to arrive at the hospital and was treated quickly. After three days in hospital, he was released and driven the 22 hours home to Lake County, B.C. by his parents as flying could cause his brain to swell. According to his Go Fund Me page, Matejka’s injuries include brain bleeding, brain swelling and fluid in the brain cavity.
After such a huge and public tragedy, it’s hard to believe that there are actually people out there who believe the whole thing was a hoax. In the days after the shooting, Matejka’s social media accounts were bombarded with messages from people who claimed he was an actor hired to play a victim in the event. People posted death threats, crude memes and harassed his family on social media too.
Many of these conspiracy theorists tried to break down Matejka’s story. They said that medically, he couldn’t have possibly been released from the hospital just three days after being shot in the head. They also questioned why his head wasn’t shaved to allow doctor’s better access to his wounds. Matejka’s brother Taylor tried to respond to a few of the claims with little success.
“They just don’t seem to be able to be reasoned with,” he told Your Morning. “You try to respond in an eloquent manner and they just don’t seem to be able to believe that what happened actually happened.”
It’s not just direct attacks either. There is a whole online community that genuinely believes the attack was either staged by the government or didn’t happen at all. There are also people who are coming up with wild theories about Stephen Paddock’s motive (which has still not been reported by police) and going so far as to say the Illuminati could be the perpetrators.
Matejka’s latest update on his Go Fund Me page, posted 26 days ago, says that they have safely made it back to B.C. and are seeking help to deal with the emotional component of their tragedy.