Improvise Adapt Overcome: U.S. Marine Vet Steals Truck, Saves Dozens in Vegas Shooting

If you want to know how to respond during a serious crisis, the first step is: be a Marine.

Taylor Winston is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was at the concert in Las Vegas targeted by Stephen Paddock whose shooting rampage killed more than fifty and  injured hundreds. Winston’s military training and experience kicked in during the mass shooting and dozens of people likely owe him their lives. Commandeering a utility truck, Winston was able to deliver loads of wounded to the hospital.

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

The vet said they ran for cover and hopped a fence to get to safety. Once he landed on the other side, he said he reportedly saw a bunch of white trucks.

“I tested my luck to see if any of them had keys in it, first one we tried opening had keys sitting right there,” he said. “I started looking for people to take to the hospital. There was just too many and it was overwhelming how much blood was everywhere.”

Winston and his friend reportedly made two trips to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, squeezing “probably 20 to 30” victims in the backseat and in the bed of the truck, CBS News said. When they returned to the shooting scene for a third pick up, he said it looked like emergency responders had it under control, The Orange County Register reported.

The vet reportedly returned the truck, parking it a few blocks away from the venue.

Of course he returned the truck. He’s a hero, not a thief.

Winston was honorably discharged from the Marines after serving two tours of duty in Iraq and credits his military training for helping him take quick action in the “mini war zone.” Winston’s girl friend also acted heroically, helping victims over fences and into the truck despite her own injuries.

An unofficial motto of the Marine Corps is “Improvise Adapt Overcome.” I think Winston lived up to that one.