When the shots first rang out in Las Vegas on Sunday, 29-year-old Marine veteran Taylor Winston did what thousands of others did around him – he ran for cover. But, it was what happened next that put the veteran into the spotlight. After finding himself safe, Winston stole a truck and began taking the injured to the hospital.
According to CBS News, Winston took 20-30 people to the hospital that night, many before the ambulances even arrived.
Winston told the media outlet that he and his girlfriend were dancing near the side stage when the shots started ringing out.
“People started scattering and screaming and that’s when we knew something real was happening,” Winston said.
It didn’t take long for the shots to get closer to the couple as they were trying to escape. Winston watched several nearby people fall to the ground as the gunfire sprayed around them.
“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 said. “It was a mini war zone but we couldn’t fight back.”
Luckily, Winston and his girlfriend made it over that fence and found themselves in a field. Winston quickly noticed several white trucks parked there and began looking for one with keys. Surprisingly, the very first one he tried opened and had the keys inside. It was almost as if the truck was waiting for Winston when he needed it most.
Of course, in the chaos, Winston learned virtually nothing about the people he took to the hospital. He doesn’t even know which of his passengers survived and which didn’t. However, he does know that he made a difference that night.
Winston credits his military training for his bravery. During the crisis, that training kicked in, and he was able to think clearly and help as many people as he could. He says that he was incredibly lucky to survive the attack. He also pointed out that he was not the only person helping that night. Winston saw countless others doing everything they could to help the injured.
Winston joined the military at the age of 17 and served faithfully until 2011 after an honorable discharge.