By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
As Lt. Derrick ‘Bo’ Taylor is laid to rest in Pismo Beach today, one mother credits him with saving five people during the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting.
A former coworker of Lt. Taylor’s visited the Las Vegas memorial honoring the 58 victims. A total of 59 lives were lost that night, including the apparent suicide of the shooter.
Before retiring and moving to Las Vegas, Jay Smith worked with Lt. Taylor at Pleasant Valley State Prison. While attending the memorial, he read a note written to Lt. Taylor thanking him for saving a mother’s two children and their three friends. He posted a video on Facebook.
“Mr.Taylor,” the note begins. “It is with a heavy heart that I write this card. You see, we didn’t know each other, but by happenstance, our families’ paths crossed. You were standing next to my son and daughter and their three friends at the Route 91 concert. There was a lot of confusion and my kids thought firecrackers were being lit off and it was part of the show. I’m so sorry to say that the loss of your life saved my children. Words cannot express the overall sadness I have for your family or the deeply indebted feelings I have for you. I know that nothing can change what happened on that terrible night but I hope your family can find solace in the fact that you saved five other people. From what I’ve read about you, you seem like that kind of man in life and now in death.” The note was signed, “From the bottom of my heart, a grateful mother.”
Smith was obviously moved by the note, choking up as he read it.
Lt. Taylor’s body was flown from Las Vegas to Burbank. There, his flag-draped coffin was escorted more than 170 miles by CHP and a procession of CDCR vehicles to the mortuary in Pismo Beach. Along the route, public safety personnel lined the overpasses, saluting as the 50-vehicle convoy passed.
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