Like every Marine, Taylor Winston surely learned that the Corps leaves no man behind. In that spirit, he stole a pickup truck, gathered up more than two dozen victims of sniper fire Sunday night, and drove them to a hospital, one of many stories of bravery to emerge from the Las Vegas shooting.
At first, like many at the country music concert, he ran for cover when shooting began. Then he realized people needed his help. He said he tried to identify some of the most critically injured victims and drove them to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center before ambulances had even arrived at the mass shooting.
Winston spoke on "CBS This Morning" with host Nora O'Donnell.
Winston said he was at the concert with friends. He and girlfriend Jenn Lewis were dancing when the shooting started.
"People started scattering and screaming, and that's when we knew something real was happening," Winston said. "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 and his friends discovered they were boxed in by a fence, and "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."
That's when he saw a group of white service trucks — and the first one he checked had keys. "I started looking for people to take to the hospital," Winston said. "There was just too many and it was overwhelming how much blood was everywhere."
Victims squeezed into the cab and bed of the Chevy truck.
"Once we dropped them off, we were like well, let's go back for round two and go get some more," Winston said. "I transported probably 20 to 30 people injured to the hospital."
Winston joined the Marines at age 17 and served two tours in Iraq. He left the Corps in 2011 as a sergeant. "I think a lot of my training in the military helped me in the situation. We needed to get them out of there regardless of our safety."
Winston says, "There was a lot of bravery and courageous people out there. I'm glad that I could call them my country folk."
He returned the truck keys to the owner Monday.