In the midst of the worst mass shooting in America, one of the stories of bravery and sacrifice involved a United States Marine Corps veteran and a “borrowed” work truck. Veteran Taylor Winston and his girlfriend, Jenn Lewis, were dancing near the front of the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival the night of October 1 when gunshots were first heard. A gunman in the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino used multiple firearms from a 32nd floor room to kill 59 people and injure more than 500 more.
The shooting persisted for several minutes while the 22,000 people at the country music festival ran or covered for safety and shelter. Winston and Lewis, however, ran towards the danger instead of away from it. Taylor found a nearby work truck that had the keys inside and commandeered the vehicle. Finding the most critically wounded victims and carrying them to safety, Winston used the pick-up truck as a makeshift ambulance.
In two separate trips, Winston was able to get around 30 critically wounded victims to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center. The truck was later returned to its owner, who praised Winston for his swift actions to save lives.
His bravery and heroic actions captured the attention of the whole nation, which found hope and inspiration in people like Winston and others during the shock and loss of the shooting. Taylor Winston’s actions also caught the attention of Shane Beus, owner of B5 Motors car dealership.
“At B5Motors we have been overwhelmed with the heartbreaking stories coming out of Vegas. Yesterday, we read of a Vet, Taylor Winston, and the harrowing way he rescued dozens of Vegas victims,” the dealership in Gilbert, Arizona, said in a Facebook post. “According to reports, he stole a truck to quickly transport the injured to the hospital. We would like to find Taylor and thank him for his bravery by providing him a free truck from B5Motors.”
B5Motors reached out on social media with the hashtag #HelpB5MotorsfindTaylorWinston, and soon they got in touch with Winston himself. After working out the details of getting the new truck to the courageous Marine Corps veteran, Winston said he would be selling his current truck and donating the proceeds of the sale to help the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas.
“We are honored to play a role in this full-circle story as now Taylor will be selling his current vehicle and donating those funds to the Vegas victims,” B5Motors later posted on Facebook.
“It’s been nearly a week after the mass shooting at Route 91 and have finally returned home to San Diego,” Winston said on Facebook. “I’ve been fortunate to spread positivity and light through media platforms, helped Stoney’s Rockin Country with a benefit concert, and met some other amazing heroes since then. The most important thus far has been visiting the survivors who have not been as fortunate as I, and giving them hugs and looking them in the eye and thanking them for being so strong. It’s been emotional and humbling to know how many amazing people are out there. This is something no one should have to go through, but I feel more prepared than ever to get back into the grind and bring joy, love, and positivity to others. Can’t wait to see y’all out there and give ya a big ol hug at events to come.”
As Winston gets back to some normality, The Veterans Site continues to hope for full and speedy recoveries for all the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. We are grateful for heroes like Taylor Winston and so many others who risked their safety and even gave their lives to protect others from harm.
Watch B5Motors present Taylor Winston with his new truck in the video below!
Read the full story about Taylor Winston and Jenn Lewis in the original post!
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.