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Las Vegas shootings: British soldier awarded for bravery

Trooper Ross WoodwardImage copyright MoD
Image caption Ross Woodward abandoned a meal when he heard gunfire and went to help the injured

A British soldier who rushed to the aid of people injured in the Las Vegas massacre has been recognised by the Queen for his bravery.

Almost 500 people were hurt and 58 killed when a gunman opened fire on festival-goers at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on 1 October last year.

Trooper Ross Woodward was off duty when he helped treat people with gunshot wounds and guided others to safety.

He said receiving the honour came as a “total surprise”.

The 24-year-old from Beeston, Nottinghamshire had been enjoying a trip to the city with other soldiers after a desert training exercise in Nevada.

The group had been in the Tropicana hotel opposite and abandoned their meal when they heard gunfire.

‘People needed me’

“Anyone in the military would have done the same,” Trooper Woodward 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.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The massacre was the biggest shooting in modern US history

The father-of-one from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards described “a lot of chaos” and hearing people “screaming, shouting, looking for loved ones”.

One of the people he helped was a man in his 30s who had been shot in the back and struggling to breathe.

“I tried to reassure him that I wasn’t going to leave him,” he said.

Image caption Troopers Stuart Finlay and Ross Woodward (right) abandoned a birthday meal to help victims

“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 the same regiment helped in the wake of the shooting and were praised by the Prime Minister for helping victims.

Trooper Woodward received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, which states he “displayed conspicuous bravery, outstanding leadership and unwavering selflessness”.

“He consciously, deliberately and repeatedly advanced towards danger, moving people to safety and treating casualties,” it adds.

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