Bohol native hailed as a hero in Las Vegas shooting
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — Tales of heroism have emerged in the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.
One of those hailed as a hero was 66-year-old Bohol native Winifredo Balbido Maquindang, a taxi driver in Las Vegas just four days on the job.
Maquindang loaded six wounded victims in his taxi and took them to the hospital, speeding through red lights to make sure they got treated as soon as possible.
Maquindang, who was on his fourth day working for Yellow Checker Star Transportation, one of Nevada state’s largest taxi companies, said he decided to wait for fares in front of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino during the Oct. 1 music festival.
Suddenly he heard a series of explosions that sounded like fireworks.
“We are used to fireworks here in Vegas,” Maquindang told Inquirer in a phone interview on Saturday.
He later realized that these were not fireworks as shards of glass rained down on the street from an upper floor of the hotel.
As Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on the crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, many became too frightened to move.
Maquindang saw some concertgoers so scared that they did know know what to do.
When a stampede broke out, he said he saw bodies on the ground amid deafening screams and cries.
Maquindang said he packed six who were injured in his taxi, which normally carries four passengers, and sped away to Sunrise Hospital about 6 kilometers away, never stopping for a red light.
“Two of them were in serious condition because they were hit by bullets in the back and in the neck,” he said.
He thought of returning to the site to ferry more people to the hospital but he worried about what his boss might say and the possible damage his cab might sustain during the chaos. So he decided to go home instead.
Six days later, Maquindang said he still didn’t know what happened to the people he took to the hospital.
“I don’t have time yet but I like to visit them to know their condition,” he said.
Maquindang, who hailed from Poblacion Sawang in Loboc town in Bohol province, has been living in United States for 47 years.
His family lives in Los Angeles, California, where he also drove a taxi, but he relocated to Las Vegas after he was hired by the taxi company.
Maquindang was hailed among the heroes of America’s worst mass shooting in recent years.
Maquindang’s daughter, Alyssa Mae, proudly posted her father’s heroic deed on Facebook.
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