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.
“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.
Support our Journalism with a Contribution
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.