A Marine veteran saved as many as 30 lives Sunday night during the Las Vegas massacre when he stole a truck and drove victims to the hospital.
Taylor Winston, 29, a Marine veteran from San Diego, stole one of the nearest pickup trucks he could find and transported a number of shooting victims to the hospital before ambulances could reach the concert grounds.
Winston was with his girlfriend and friends at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night when the shooter, Stephen Paddock, fired into the crowd of more than 22,000 people, killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 others.
When country singer Jason Aldean stopped playing music and people started running, Winston realized that something was wrong.
“The shots got louder and louder, closer to us and saw people getting hit, it was like we could be hit at any second. Once we got to the fence, I helped throw a bunch of people over, and got myself over,” Winston told CBS News. “It was a mini war zone, but we couldn’t fight back.”
Winston, a Marine veteran who joined the service when he was 17 and served two tours in Iraq , said even though he was unable to fight, he wanted to do what he could to help.
“I saw a field with a bunch of white trucks. I tested my luck to see if any of them had keys in it, first one we tried opening had keys sitting right there,” Winston said. “I started looking for people to take to the hospital. There was just too many and it was overwhelming how much blood was everywhere.”
Despite putting himself at risk, Winston helped transport up to 30 victims to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center five miles away by making two separate trips.
“I think a lot of my training in the military helped me in the situation,” Winston said. “We needed to get them out of there regardless of our safety.”
Winston, who returned the truck’s keys to the owner on Monday night, said he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“There was a lot of bravery and courageous people out there,” Winston said. “I’m glad that I could call them my country folk.”
Despite not calling himself a hero, many people on social media did.
“RESPECT,” hash-tagged one Twitter user when he mentioned Winston’s story.
“In the midst of an unfathomable act of hatred, people like Taylor Winston remind us of the good in the world,” another Twitter user said.