LONDON, United Kingdom
The Queen of England Elizabeth II has honoured a British soldier who “repeatedly advanced towards danger” during the Las Vegas massacre for his bravery.
Trooper Ross Woodward, 24, was off duty when a gunman opened fire on festival-goers at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in October last year, killing 58 people and wounding 500.
He received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery after he “displayed conspicuous bravery, outstanding leadership and unwavering selflessness.”
“He consciously, deliberately and repeatedly advanced towards danger, moving people to safety and treating casualties,” the award stated.
The father-of-one from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards helped treat people with gunshot wounds and guided others to safety.
Woodward said the honour came as a “total surprise” as “anyone in the military would have done the same”.
He said:”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.”
Woodward was visiting the gambling mecca when the gun man Steven Paddock started firing bullets into the crowd from his hotel room.
Woodward says that he witnessed “a lot of chaos” and heard people “screaming, shouting, looking for loved ones”.
Among the victims he helped was a man in his 30s who had been shot in the back and was struggling to breathe.
He recalled:”I tried to reassure him that I wasn’t going to leave him. I stayed by him, and a few moments passed and there was no response from him. I found out that he had passed away.”
Other six soldiers from the same regiment helped in the wake of the shooting and were praised by the prime minister for helping victims.