SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Hundreds came together at the Hard Rock Hotel downtown San Diego Friday night to raise money to help those who are still recovering from last month’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip.
The founder of Original Grain Watches – Andrew Beltran who is U.S. Marine - sponsored the special tribute to the victims and survivors of the Las Vegas shooting.
Among those honored was U.S. Marine Corps Taylor Winston.
Winston, who lives in Ocean Beach, was honored for his heroic actions which saved more than two dozen lives.
“As a community, we will grow stronger and never forget what happened October 1, 2017,” said SSGT. Cory Jeffers, USMC.
Country music star Craig Campbell made an impromptu appearance at the San Diego United Remembering Vegas Tribute.
“For us to come together in San Diego, as a community, that is what is most important,” Beltran.
In the chaos of gunfire, Winston became a local hero after he commandeered a stranger’s truck and transported 20 to 30 victims to a Las Vegas hospital.
The Marine's heroism was honored on the eve of Veteran’s Day and USMC 242nd birthday.
“It’s kind of amazing because we keep giving back that his what it is all about, taking care of each other,” said Winston.
For many survivors, Friday night’s event was the first time they had attended a public event since the shooting. Some saw triggers like the turf, flood lights and hotel rooms.
“You have to confront it. Deal with it and understand this window is not danger,” said survivor David Powell.
Dr. Shiva Ghaed is a survivor and clinical psychologists who treats trauma patients. She leads the support group which meets each Monday at Incahoots. She believes more than 200 San Diegans have rotated through the meeting and said Friday’s event is about healing.
“People are smart. People are resilient. You give them tools they can get better."
The Powell couple said they will return to Las Vegas on Saturday for the first time since the shooting to visit the site and healing garden.
All the proceeds from Friday night’s $20 cover, auction and Marine Winston’s hand-crafted wooden key chains will go towards the southern California families affected by the shooting.
The Las Vegas mass shooting at the Route 91 Country Music Festival is the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
From his Mandalay Bay Hotel room, Stephen Paddock aimed his gun and killed 58 people – including San Diegan Jennifer Irvine. More than 500 people were injured.