A British soldier has been handed a bravery award for rushing to help those injured in the Las Vegas massacre.
Trooper Ross Woodward, from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, was on a trip to Las Vegas after a desert training exercise in Nevada when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on festival-goers at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
As bullets rained down, the 24-year-old helped lead people to safety and tended to the injured.
Trooper Woodward has now been awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the latest round of military honours.
“Anyone in the military would have done the same,” he told the Press Association.
“To me it just felt like the right thing to do, because people were there and needed my help, I just did not want to walk away and leave them. If I ever need help, I hope and pray that someone would help me.”
Trooper Woodward, from Beeston, Nottinghamshire, said they had undertaken a team medic course just weeks before the training exercise, so the skills were fresh in his mind.
When he found himself caught up in the massacre in Las Vegas, the father of one said there was “a lot of chaos”, with people “screaming, shouting, looking for loved ones”.
He said the first casualty he treated was a man who had been shot in the back, saying: “I came across a man who was in distress, in a lot of discomfort – he was on the floor.”
With the man in pain and struggling to breathe, Trooper Woodward discovered he had been shot in his lower left back and proceeded to try and help stop the bleeding.
“I tried to reassure him that I wasn’t going to leave him, he thought I was going to go – I promised I wasn’t going to go anywhere,” he said.
“I stayed by him, and a few moments passed and there was no response from him – I found out that he had passed away.”
Six soldiers from 1st Queen Dragoon Guards were caught up and helped in the wake of the shooting in October last year, which saw at least 58 killed and hundreds of others injured.
His award citation says that Trooper Woodward “displayed conspicuous bravery, outstanding leadership and unwavering selflessness” during the incident.
“He consciously, deliberately and repeatedly advanced towards danger, moving people to safety and treating casualties,” it adds.
“There is no doubt that his assistance to the US first responders saved lives. His actions were exceptional and he is fully deserving of nation-wide recognition.”