‘Good Samaritan’ awarded Civilian Medal of Valor
A 51-year-old Carson City man who was shot in the leg after stopping on Mother’s Day to help a motorist in Washoe Valley was honored for valor Friday.
Jerry Hafen, director of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, called Wayne Nash a good Samaritan as about 75 people gathered for the presentation of the agency’s first Civilian Medal of Valor.
“In today’s world, it’s rare to find a real Samaritan” who not only took the time to stop and render aid, “but suffered a life-threatening wound due to the actions of someone irresponsible,” Hafen said.
Reno Justice of the Peace Harold Albright determined Wednesday that there was enough evidence to try Victor Rodriguez, 24, for the killing of Rene Angulo, 17, and the attempted murder of Nash.
Investigators believe Rodriguez shot Angulo, who died at the scene, on Mother’s Day as they drove through the valley about a mile north of Carson City. It is unclear why the two were in the same car.
Nash was shot in the right leg when he stopped to assist what he thought was a motorist in peril due to the erratic stop made on the side of the road.
Nash limped slightly as he entered the room on Friday, leaning on a cane for support. He fought back tears as he recalled the events of that day.
“It is surreal to me, but the pain in my leg is a reminder that I almost died many times and that I almost lost my leg,” he said.
“My heart also goes out to the family of Rene,” he said. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now.”
Nash also praised his wife Tamara – “who has no medical training, but must watch a lot of TV” – for applying a tourniquet to his leg while waiting for the ambulance, and to his daughter, Whitney, who was able to remember all the digits on the license plate of the shooter’s vehicle as he sped from the scene.
“Two other couples stopped to help because of my daughter’s pleas. I don’t know who they are, but if they ever come forward, I’d like to thank them myself,” he said.
“And if I am a Good Samaritan,” he added tearfully, “it’s because of my family values. Family values start at home, and I’d like to thank my mom and dad for teaching me values and compassion.”
After the ceremony, Nash said he would not soon forget the incident.
“That first shot is probably going to haunt me,” he said. “It went right by my head. I turned and ran and that’s when I was shot in the leg.”
He also said he would definitely think twice before jumping out of his car again in a similar situation.
“Next time, if I (were to) see a gun, I’d be reluctant to get out,” he said.
Before the ceremony, Nash’s wife, Tamara, recalled the events of that day.
“It all happened so fast, I didn’t have time to think. I used Whitney’s basketball jacket as a tourniquet and used tire chains to prop up his leg so it would be above his heart,” she said.
“Blood was shooting out everywhere. I was covered in blood by the time the ambulance got there. It was his femoral artery. I am so grateful that I was there. He would have bled to death,” she said.
“When he was in the hospital, all I could think of was that we all could have been gone. Whitney was in the car just above him when (Rodriguez allegedly) shot at him. Thank God for tinted windows. I don’t think (Rodriguez) knew we were in there,” she said.