Winifredo Maquindang, a 66-year-old native from the province of Bohol in the Philippines, recalled the tragic event during an interview with Good Morning Las Vegas, KTMV reported.
The Las Vegas, Nevada-based cab driver helped save six victims of the shooting by driving them to a hospital 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the scene without stopping for red lights.
Maquindang described how he initially thought the shots were fireworks until he later realized they were actually gunshots fired by the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who was staying at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The tragic shooting took the lives of 59 people with around 527 more injured.
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“At first I thought it was just fireworks. But when empty shells of gun bullets fell nearby, I realized these must be gunshots. So I drove closer to the crowd, and there I saw many dead and wounded people,” Maquindang said in his native language of Tagalog in a different interview, as translated by Rappler.
Despite the maximum capacity of four people, Maquindang managed to fit six injured people inside his cab.
“Two of them were in serious condition because they were hit by bullets in the back and in the neck,” the taxi driver said, according to AsiaOne.
Because of the urgency, the 66-year-old Filipino driver ran through several red lights to get to Sunrise Hospital, which is about 3 miles away from the Route 91 Harvest Festival crime scene.
Maquindang has been living in the United States for 47 years, and he moved from Poblacion Sawang in Loboc, Bohol to Los Angeles, California. However, he was asked to move to Las Vegas after being accepted as a taxi driver there.
It’s been a week since the tragic shooting in Nevada, and Maquindang said he would like to know what happened to the people he dropped off at the hospital.
“I don’t have time yet but I like to visit them to know their condition,” he said.
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