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Mystery man in iconic Las Vegas massacre photo identified

The young man captured in one of the most haunting photos to emerge from the Las Vegas shooting massacre has been identified as a soldier in the US army.

US Cavalry Scout Matthew Cobos has been identified as the man pictured heroically covering a woman on the ground amid a hail of bullets during the Las Vegas massacre, according to a retired former soldier.

The heart-stopping photo was taken by Getty photographer David Becker and showed Mr Cobos shielding the  woman after she had tripped over fleeing the chaos at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night.

Retired US Cavalry Scout Jason Maddy is in Puerto Rico for storm relief, but noticed the haunting photo plastered across the media. 

He claimed the man in the photo was his former fellow platoon member.

The haunting photo of a young man covering a woman from bullets during the Las Vegas massacre.
The haunting photo of a young man covering a woman from bullets during the Las Vegas massacre (Getty)
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Matthew Cobos, a US Cavalry Scout, is beleived to be the man protecting the woman in the Las Vegas massacre photo.
Matthew Cobos, a US Cavalry Scout, is believed to be the man protecting the woman in the Las Vegas massacre photo.
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The US cavalry scout humbly responded to the post thanking Mr Maddy for his disaster relief work in Puerto Rico.

Mr Cobos' heroic and selfless response to the gunfire was captured in a split second from the photgrapher who was there to cover the festival.

Photographer Mr Becker was trying to capture the chaos unfolding before his eyes, but admitted that it was until he fled the scene and looked at the photos, that he became aware of the massacre.

Matthew Cobos, a US Cavalry Scout, is beleived to be the man protecting the woman in the Las Vegas massacre photo.
Matthew Cobos, a US Cavalry Scout, is believed to be the man protecting the woman in the Las Vegas massacre photo.
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“People were cowering, they were very fearful for their lives. A woman tripped right in front of me, a man shielded a woman with his body before I saw them both get up and run away, a man in a wheelchair was helped to an exit," he told CNN.

"When I saw the image of the woman lying on the ground covered in blood, that was when the impact of what I was experiencing hit — when I realised people were dying.”

SBS News has reached out to Mr Cobos for comment.