Yet, sources had no idea who the man was or where he was from until his identity was recently confirmed as that of U.S. Army soldier Matthew Cobos.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, Cobos allegedly shielded the woman with his body “from the barrage of bullets tearing through the air around them,” going so far as to covering her eyes from witnessing the chaos.
Getty photographer David Becker took the photo, which has since gone viral as news of the attack — and news of heroic deeds that were performed during it — spread.
Becker revealed that after the photo had been taken, Cobos and the woman stood up and he brought her to safety. Cobos then ran back to the dangerous scene in order to help others.
Witnesses told the Daily Mail that Cobos “used his belt as a tourniquet to stop people bleeding and even put his finger in bullet holes of some who had been shot.”
Family and friends have recently revealed that Cobos told them he could see “bullets ricocheting off the ground in front of him as he ran.”
But this act of heroism isn’t a surprise for friend and fellow service-member Jason Maddy, who happened to be out of the country at the time of the attack.
“Just found out because I’m in Puerto Rico, but this is one of my very own former Soldiers from White Platoon, B TRP 2-14 CAV from Hawaii,” Maddy wrote in a post about Cobos.
“Extremely proud of you brother!! True Hero!!!!!” he added.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Cobos was said to be safe and staying in California with family. Cobos lives in Hawaii, however, where he is a cavalry scout in the Army whose job is to act as the “eyes and ears of the commander during battle.”
News of his courage has become worldwide, with more people praising his heroism as they learn of his identity.
Other users, like Clara Arroyave, spent days trying to find out who Cobos was in order to thank the man for such bravery.
“I’ve been scrolling through the internet for two days to find out who you were,” she admitted. “That image of you physically shielding her from the bullets and covering her eyes from the carnage is one I’ll never forget.”