By: Amanda Froelich/The Mind Unleashed The night one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, 29-year-old marine veteran Taylor Winston was presented with a choice: he could flee the scene, where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was firing bullets into a crowd of 22,000 people, or he could stay and help the wounded. Like a true warrior, he chose to stay.
There was only one problem: the San Diego, California, resident didn’t have transportation. With adrenaline coursing through his veins, the former Marine checked a nearby lot of parked cars until he found a vehicle with its keys inside. In possession of a white truck, he began loading up the wounded and drove them to the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center — all before ambulances arrived. Winston then returned to the area of mass chaos and picked up more people.
“Once we dropped them off, we were like well, let’s go back for round two and go get some more,” Winston told “CBS This Morning” during an interview. “I transported probably 20 to 30 people injured to the hospital.
As The Mind Unleashed previously reported, Winston was able to return the keys to the truck’s owner a few days after the event. The owner was sure to thank the veteran for his heroism and assured him he didn’t mind the truck being stolen for the important purpose of transporting the injured.
The heartwarming story doesn’t end there. To thank Winston for his bravery, the car dealership B5 Motors, based in Gilbert, Arizona, decided to gift the good Samaritan a new vehicle. B5 Motors posted on Twitter, asking if anyone could connect them to Winston.
Said Shane Beus, the owner of B5 Motors,
“This guy was in the military. He obviously was in a situation where he had to act fast and that’s what he did. Most of us that wouldn’t even cross our mind. We’d think, ‘We have to get the heck out of here.’”
On Friday, dealer representatives met up with the veteran and gave him the keys to a 2013 Ford F-150 — customized wheels and tires included. Reportedly, the car is worth an estimated $20,000.
Amazed by the generosity, Winston now plans to sell his current car and donate all of the proceeds to the Las Vegas shooting victims. “He was very, very thankful,” said Beus. “The best word to describe him is humble.”
Though Winston is regarded as a “hero” by many, he refuses the title. He said he saw many people doing good deeds in the aftermath of the horror at the Route 91 music festival. “There was a lot of bravery and courageous people out there. I’m glad that I could call them my country folk,” said Winston.
But Beus maintains the belief that the former Marine should be thanked.
“It’s kindness in the first degree and complete selflessness,” Beus said. “I hope people remember their neighbors, their friends, people they don’t even know, people they see in restaurants and on streets — there are people who are in circumstances that they don’t know. We need to always be sensitive and willing to lend a helping hand.”
Via CBS News