A U.S. Marine Corps. veteran commandeered a truck he found Sunday while fleeing from a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, using the vehicle to ferry dozens of injured people to hospitals as ambulances rushed to the scene.
Taylor Winston, 29, told CBS News that he and his girlfriend were dancing when the gunshots rang out.
“People started scattering and screaming, and that’s when we knew something real was happening,” Winston told the news network.
He and others climbed a nearby fence to get to safety, where Winston found several parked white trucks.
“(There) was a utility vehicle, and I knew that sometimes keys are left behind for the next driver,” Winston told The Orange County Register. He opened a driver’s side door to investigate and found keys waiting in the truck’s ignition.
All around Winston were injured people, some being pulled to safety by others, some lying on the ground, he told the Register.
“We started grabbing people and loading them in the truck,” Winston said, telling the newspaper he was aided by a friend. “Some were in critical condition. We took a full load to the hospital and then came back for more.”
Over the course of two trips, Winston estimated that he helped about 30 people get to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center. After returning for a third run, he told KGTV that he saw that emergency crews were in control of the scene.
Winston joined the Marines when he was 17, according to CBS News. He served two tours in Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2011 as a sergeant.
"I think a lot of my training in the military helped me in the situation,” he told CBS News. “We needed to get them out of there regardless of our safety.”
Still, Winston brushed off the “hero” title in an interview with KGTV.
“There’s a lot of unsung heroes that day that stood up and helped people,” he told the news station.
Authorities said at least 59 people were killed and more than 525 others were injured Sunday when a gunman opened fire on 22,000 people gathered for the final night of the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Officials continue to investigate the attack.