A Filipino taxi driver has been hailed as a hero for helping out wounded victims evacuate during the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 1.
Winifredo “Winnie” Maquindang, who is from Loboc town of Bohol province, said he was driving in the vicinity of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino when he heard successive gunshots he initially thought were sounds from a fireworks display.
“I thought it was fireworks. I wait and wait and then he fired again, the second time the glass was falling down [on] the ground,” Maquindang told ABS-CBN news.
He added, “So I know this is real now. I left, pumunta ako sa scene kung anong nangyayari, doon sa nakita ko, parang warzone doon yun eh (I went to check what is happening, and there, I saw what looked like a war zone).”
Continuing his narration of events, Maquindang said he was able to transport six wounded victims to a nearby hospital.
The Boholano driver recalled driving like a police car or an ambulance—with a speed of around 80 miles per hour and unmindful of traffic signals—as some of the passengers were in critical condition, including one who was shot in the neck.
Joel Willden, Maquindang’s boss, saluted the driver’s “act of bravery,” noting that it had only been four days since the Filipino was hired when the incident happened.
“It was an amazing act of bravery…Some of them might have died if he didn’t step up. I’m just extremely proud of him,” Willden said.
As of this writing, 59 people have died and over 500 more were injured during what is considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history after Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire at a country music concert on Sunday.
According to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), two Filipino-Americans were injured in the mass shooting.
In a statement issued Thursday, October 5, DFA Spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said one of the two injured sprained his ankle and was already discharged.
“The other is still in hospital under observation but is expected to make a full and speedy recovery,” he added. (AJPress)