Taylor Winston, a former Marine from San Diego, made a split-second decision Sunday night as shots rang out in Las Vegas. Winston was one of thousands of people caught in the crossfire of the Oct. 3 mass shooting and knew he had to act quickly.
One moment, he danced with his girlfriend near the stage where Jason Aldean sang. Suddenly, he heard gunfire and people screaming.
“The shots got louder and louder, closer to us and saw people getting hit, it was like we could be hit at any second,” Winston told CBS This Morning. “Once we got to the fence, I helped throw a bunch of people over, and got myself over. It was a mini war zone but we couldn’t fight back.”
The 29-year-old described the area as “mini war zone.” However, the former serviceman could not fight back. His mind raced to figure out what to do to save the dozens of injured people around him.
He spotted a fleet of trucks nearby and that’s when he made the choice to steal one of them. He found a truck with the keys inside and headed back toward the chaos.
“We went back into the gunfire and started looking for priority victims, people with the most serious injuries to get to the hospital,” Winston said to KGTV.
Winston made multiple trips to local hospitals. He estimated he brought about 30 people to get medical attention.
As word got out of Winston’s actions, friends congratulated him on his heroics via social media.
Winston doesn’t like the “hero” label. He said he was one of many people who helped that night.
“There was a lot of bravery and courageous people out there. I’m glad that I could call them my country folk,” he said.
Hero returns stolen truck
But, what about that stolen truck?
The owner, Phelps Amelsberg, posted on Facebook in search of the person who stole his truck. He didn’t want to press charges; he just wanted his keys back!
Eventually, Amelsberg connected with Winston and reached out directly via text. He shared the exchange on Facebook, as well.
Needless to say, he got his keys back.
People posted their appreciation and willingness to help Amelsberg have the truck professionally cleaned. Some even offered to contribute money to buy a new truck. However, Amelsberg replied he already had the truck cleaned and everything is fine.
All in a day’s work, it seems.
As for Winston, he remains in Vegas. He’s grateful to everyone for their well wishes. And he attended a benefit concert to help victims of the Oct. 4 shooting. Based on his Facebook posts, he intends to stand proud and strong despite the recent horrible events.