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Stories Of Heroism Abound After Las Vegas Shooting

Associated Press
Associated Press

An unidentified woman sits on a curb, following the deadly shooting Sunday night.

Stories of heroism continue to pour in following the shooting on Las Vegas Boulevard that killed 58 and injured more than 500.


Among them is the remarkable story of Taylor Winston and Jenn Lewis, who stole a service truck to transport 20 to 30 injured people to the hospital.


"It was like a war zone, but we couldn't fight back," Winston, a Marine, told CBS News.


Las Vegas resident Lisa Alexander attended the concert Friday and Saturday but stayed home Sunday. 


Her husband, Scotty Alexander told KNPR's State of Nevada he texted Winston after he heard about the shooting to see if he had gone to the concert and received a text back telling him, "I'm good. Stole a truck and making trips to the hospital with victims."


After making those trips, Winston and Lewis came to the Alexander's home traumatized and covered in blood.


"At that point, the most you can do is just hold your friends," Scotty Alexander said.


Alexander said Winston is doing as well as can be expected and is "staying strong."


The same cannot be said for his girlfriend. Lisa Alexander said Lewis was recovering from an accident the night of the concert and had broken ribs. But when the shooting started, Winston grabbed her and threw her over a fence to get her out of the way of the flying bullets.


Lisa Alexander said Lewis has spoken very little since that night, but she believes she'll pull through.


The Alexanders are organizing a fundraiser and concert at Stoney's Rocking Country, starting at 3 p.m. Sunday. Scotty Alexander said it will be a chance for people in the country music community in Las Vegas to talk about what happened and reconnect through music.


"We want to get some of the victims and some of our close friends up there that are able to share their stories so they shed some light on the impact of what they went through," Lisa Alexander said.


And what the Alexanders have gone through has reminded Lisa Alexander of what is truly important in life.


"I taught me that every day hug that person. Tell them you love them and don't sweat the small stuff," she said.


Paloma Solamente is another hero from Las Vegas. She was leaving the Luxor when she heard gunshots.


She saw people running from the scene and opened the door of her car, letting five people jump in. She drove them to the Thomas & Mack Center


If that wasn't enough, she turned around and went back to the scene. She was passing by the valet at Hooters hotel-casino when she saw a man with a gunshot wound to the chest and his wife.


"There were not enough ambulances on the scene at that moment. I didn't even know what was going on. I didn't even know what was going on after I took him to Sunrise [Hospital]. And taking him to Sunrise was the only option because there were no ambulances." 


When she got to the hospital, she was not the only person there bringing in victims in private vehicles. She said the scene outside of the hospital looked like something from a disaster movie.


After the man she had transported to the hospital was taken inside, she parked her car and ran to find the man's wife. Solamente gave the woman her phone number and told her to call if she needed anything.


Solamente said she tried to go back a third time, but was told by first responders on the scene that they had it under control. 


She said she didn't even know what was going on until she got home later that night. She did find out that the man she had transported to the hospital was going to be okay. 


Despite her heroism, Solamente, who is Muslim, has received messages on social media insulting her faith and blaming the shooting on "her people." The FBI said it found no connection between the gunman Stephen Paddock and any religious group. 


Solamente said "it is a lot to deal with," and she wakes up in the night haunted by the sound of gunfire and people screaming.


And while she saved lives that night, Solamente dismissed the label of hero.


"I was just where I needed to be and I just did what I needed to do," she said.


Tell us your stories from Sunday night or share a remembrance of a loved one: 725-400-4677

Paloma Solamente, hero; Lisa Alexander, hero; Scotty Alexander, hero

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Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.