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US Military Veteran 'Steals' Truck And Drives Wounded To Hospital After Vegas Massacre

“It was a mini-war zone but we couldn’t fight back.”

03/10/2017 18:02 SAST | Updated 03/10/2017 18:03 SAST

A former US Marine potentially saved several lives by keeping a level head amid Sunday's carnage in Las Vegas.

Quick-thinking Taylor Winston first helped people fleeing the deadly mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival escape over a fence, according to multiple reports.

The 29-year-old and his girlfriend, Jenn Lewis, then borrowed a bakkie which still had the keys in its ignition and used it to transport victims to the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center.

In two trips, they bundled between 20 to 30 people onto the vehicle's back seat and its bed. They also helped medical staff remove the injured from the truck after arriving at the hospital.

"It was a mini-war zone but we couldn't fight back," Winston, from San Diego, told The Daily Beast on Monday. "There's a few that I don't think probably made it. They were pretty limp when we were pulling them out of the truck, but they still had a pulse, so I'm hoping for the best."

Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500 more when he sprayed bullets from his 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino onto the crowd attending the music festival below.

Winston, who served two tours in Iraq before being honorably discharged as a sergeant in 2011, said his military training helped him stay calm. "We needed to get them out of there regardless of our safety," he told CBS News.

He has played down his heroics, however, saying he'd been surrounded by "bravery and courageous people." "I'm glad that I could call them my countryfolk," he added.

Winston left the truck a few blocks away from the shooting site. He said he planned to try to locate its owner on Monday morning, but the vehicle had been towed when he returned to it.

"It now has blood all over it," he said.