January 9, 2011

Daniel Hernandez, a 20-year-old intern for Gabrielle Giffords, ran toward the scene of the shootings.

The Arizona Republic reports:
Hernandez said he moved from person to person checking pulses.... One man was already dead. Then he saw Giffords. She had fallen and was lying contorted on the sidewalk. She was bleeding.

Using his hand, Hernandez applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. He pulled her into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn't choke on her own blood. Giffords was conscious, but quiet....

Hernandez used his hand to apply pressure until someone from inside Safeway brought him clean smocks from the meat department. He used them to apply pressure on the entrance wound, unaware there was an exit wound. He never let go of her...

"Of course you're afraid, you just kind of have to do what you can.... You just have to be calm and collected... You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown. . . . It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help."

46 comments:

Skyler said...

Yes, it was the best idea to run to the sound of the guns. That's what men do.

He's a good man.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse,

You also might feature Col (ret) Badger, though 75 and shot in the head, was one of the 2 guys that rushed toward the gunman and tacjked him while he tried to (flee or reload depending on the version)

http://newsitem.com/news/man-with-ties-to-schuylkill-county-said-he-is-one-of-two-who-tackled-arizona-gunman-1.1087931

edutcher said...

Agree with Skyler and sarge. It took a lot of grit to hang in there and perhaps save her life.

Sounds as if he may have been EMS or Fire Rescue.

David said...

While loser Jared gets the all the ink . . .

David said...

Read the whole article about Hernandez. He had been working for her 5 days. He did all the right things.

Thanks for the link to this ray of light, Althouse.

Titus said...

I would do the Asian Doctor.

Nice haircut.

Skyler said...

I like the Drill SGT's comment.

I think it's interesting that we learn of the guy who went to help the wounded before we learn of the man who, even though shot in the head and was 75 years old, ran at and tackled the gunman.

He's an even bigger hero in my book, not to take anything away from the first guy. But why was the man who ran to help the wounded touted before the one who actually stopped the killer?

Tim said...

I worry about the future until I read about young men like Daniel Hernandez.

HKatz said...

Great guy. Thanks for posting about him.

He's a political intern now, and maybe one day will hold some political position himself. Hopefully he'll bring that kind of courage, dedication, and decency to politics.

Paddy O said...

Yes, but does Mr. Hernandez play either the violin or the piano? That's what really counts.

HKatz said...

But why was the man who ran to help the wounded touted before the one who actually stopped the killer?

Details keep coming out (and I don't know how widely people know Hernandez's story yet - the gunman is being talked about a lot more than anyone).

And the wounded Colonel is getting his story out. Here he is speaking on Fox and Friends this morning:
http://www.foxnewsinsider.com/2011/01/09/video-man-who-helped-tackle-shooter-describes-scene/

Ann Althouse said...

@The Drill SGT It's weird that's the only story about him, and the only report is his say-so.

Michael said...

Skyler: Men do run towards the sound of guns. One of the two men who held the shooter down was a retired Army officer about 75 years old. He had been shot but helped wrestle the guy to the ground. When he noticed that the other guy was hurting the shooter who was beginning to fight back the Army guy told him to lay off, to just hold him. We must contrast this kind of bravery, unfortunately, with the students who have hidden under their desks when a demented fool began shooting classmates.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
@The Drill SGT It's weird that's the only story about him, and the only report is his say-so.


On the other hand, the article does confirm he was treated at the hospital and he claims to have been interviewed by the police, so his statement will show up, and I cant believe there isn't cell phone video.

He's 74, my mistake.

On the other hand Ann, he clearly is an Army LTC or Col. and a Colonel is not liekly to invent a story that when disproen will reflect badly on himself and his family.

He's not, afterall, a Politican :)

The Drill SGT said...

Skyler,

Your first comment brought to mind a brief quote from an alternative history novel (The Peshwar Lancers)I was recently rereading that describes a terrorist attack on an Indian public area...

"then the four young men (gunmen assasins) disappeared beneath a wave of men wielding swords, knives, walking sticks, fists and feet, and a brass cuspidor stained with betel juice. Despite the nausea that clogged her throat, Cassandra thought she saw bewilderment on the faces of the terrorists, and that puzzled her itself. What else would men of the martial classes do, when they saw a crowd attacked by assasins?

That's what real men do.

edutcher said...

Michael said...

Skyler: Men do run towards the sound of guns. One of the two men who held the shooter down was a retired Army officer about 75 years old. He had been shot but helped wrestle the guy to the ground. When he noticed that the other guy was hurting the shooter who was beginning to fight back the Army guy told him to lay off, to just hold him. We must contrast this kind of bravery, unfortunately, with the students who have hidden under their desks when a demented fool began shooting classmates.

If you don't know what to do, self-preservation is the first response. Even at Ft Hood, most people ducked.

k*thy said...

One of the good guys. It's good to know they're still out there.

Skyler said...

I won't fault anyone for hiding when a maniac is shooting. We weren't there and they were in the best position to know if any action on their part could have helped. There is no blame in self-protection.

But we should laud the hero that acts. And all men should always be thinking in the back of their minds, how they would act in an extreme situation. Thinking ahead is how you prepare for the unexpected.

chuck b. said...

He'd only been her intern for five days. http://www.towleroad.com/2011/01/giffords-intern.html

lemondog said...

Pic of the feisty William Badger, PE

lemondog said...

Added info on William Badger

Lyle said...

I think trying to stop someone with a gun is arguably the wrong move, if you don't have a gun. A 24 year old man in Houston was murdered about 2 months ago when he tried to help a woman being robbed inside a Chevron store. I don't know enough of the details to know if the 24 year old knew the robber had a gun, but he accosted the robber when he realized what was going on, and the robber (a guy just out of prison) simply turned around, put the gun against the young man's stomach and pulled the trigger. The 24 year old was dead minutes later.

Nothing ended up happening to the woman; the man fled after leading her outside at gunpoint.

Then there's the macho woman down in Florida who tried to knock the gun away from the School Board gunman by hitting his arm with her purse. What was she thinking? She wasn't thinking. The gunman ended up being shot and killed by the school board security guy who was armed and knew what he was doing.

Unless you absolutely know what you're doing when you don't have a gun to confront a guy with a gun... it's probably best to stay calm and do nothing. Every situation is different though and I can see when you might have to try something to survive or protect others.

Teaching men to just Rambo it every time is probably unwise though... unless they're armed.

... and I believed in being armed by the way.

Skyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skyler said...

Lyle wrote, Teaching men to just Rambo it every time is probably unwise though... unless they're armed.

This type of dismissive talk is why all the action heroes nowadays have to be women. Xena can beat people up, but Hercules has to be nice to everyone.

Being aggressive when someone is in danger is not always the right thing, but rarely is it better to be a mouse. It does no one any good to mock heroics, even failed heroics. The woman was probably safe because the robber wanted to get away from the dead man.

Life is short. We all die at some time. If that woman were killed by the gunman, that man would be forever second guessing if he could have done more. He may have lost the battle, but even good men died at Wake Island or Gettysburg before knowing if the battle, let alone the war, was won.

Lyle said...

Skyler,

It's not to be dismissive... it's just not smart to always react in an aggressive manner.

... and it's not about "real men" or machismo or being a latter day Hercules. If a woman carries a concealed weapon and is in some kind of massacre situation, she better respond cause she's capable of doing so. A gun can make anyone a Xena or Hercules.

It's about being cool, calm, and collected... and then making the right choice/s.

... and one of those choices could be aggressive violence, but not always.

joated said...

Those who run toward the gun fire and do what they can to help are heroic figures. Mr. Hernandez and Col (ret) Badger are to be congratulated on their exemplary reflex reactions.

Lyle said...

... and yes, the young man might have saved the woman's life. That's how it's been reported as a story, but the reports I've read read make it seem like she was still lead out of the store by the robber after he had shot the young man, before the robber fled.

No doubt the young man acted in the right, in defending the woman... but it cost him his life. However, doing nothing, i.e. not being a man... may have just meant the woman got robbed and nobody was killed.

It's a tough call, I think.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm not bragging, but I don't know how many lives I've saved.

I've lost a few, too, most memorably a guy who had been shot by his girlfriend in the projects, early one morning as I was brushing my teeth. I just heard the familiar "pop" and knew to move. I never panic, but feel my job is to either keep them alive, or comfort the injured if they're on their way out of here.

I think I've told you guys about my friend, Robert, and how his mother begged/demanded he pray as he was dying, with me - a child - watching. I'll never let anyone leave this life without knowing I love them - except for my wife's gay "guru", Scotty. I laughed in his face as his eyes changed, for interfering in our lives. I hope he imagined hell.

I still hate that man from the bottom of my heart.

The Drill SGT said...

Skyler said...But we should laud the hero that acts. And all men should always be thinking in the back of their minds, how they would act in an extreme situation. Thinking ahead is how you prepare for the unexpected.

Planning is everything. 3 of the rules of gunfights:

1. •Have a plan.
2. •Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.
3. •Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

The Drill SGT said...

WRT ducking at Ft Hood, most of those folks were in a maze of partitions and could not see the shooter. They ducked, rightly. Same with those who did not charge the front of a guy with a gun.

In this case, Badger and the ither guy took the killer in the flank as he ran past eother fleeing or reloading.

Skyler said...
Yes, it was the best idea to run to the sound of the guns


In the days before radio, that was one of the key standing rules of war. It was arguably a Courts martial offense to hear cannons in the distance and not march your column at best speed in that direction...

JAL said...

Was it here we had a discussion of what "courage" is?

In the Tucson attack we see courage.

PaulV said...

The VT professor who blocked the door during that massacre was a holocaust survivor and an Israeli who had learned it is better to react than to not do anything, He died but saved other lives. Compare the heroes of Flight 93

Clyde said...

A somewhat unrelated thought on Rep. Giffords' injury and recovery prognosis: It will be interesting to see how well she recovers in terms of whether the undamaged portions of her brain can take over functions of the affected areas. I remember reading a while back on the differences between the way that men's brains and women's brains are wired: In men's brains, various functions are usually served by a single part of the brain, while in women's brains, the functions might be spread around to multiple areas, meaning that it is more likely for them to be able to recover better from a traumatic brain injury.

Clyde said...

Here's what I was writing about:

"
Men's brains tend to perform tasks predominantly with the left-side, which is the logical/rational side of the brain. Women, on the other hand, use both sides of their brains because a woman's brain has a larger corpus callosum, which means women can transfer data between the right and left hemispheres faster than men."

Read more: http://www.thirdage.com/love-romance/the-male-vs-the-female-brain#ixzz1AZVDceNz

Scott M said...

@drill sgt

SM Stifling is easily my favorite author (followed closely by Peter F Hamilton) and I've always wanted a follow up to PW. He's got too much going on with the Emberverse and, now, the Taint In Blood trilogy. My wife and I did Nantucket specifically so we could go see places from the Islanded books. How's that for capital-G Geek?

David said...

Skyler said...
I won't fault anyone for hiding when a maniac is shooting.

Agreed. That's why real acts of heroism are rare and distinctive.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I see the gay blogs are touting the fact that Hernandez was gay. Ugh.

Is it nice that the heroic intern who helped Giffords is gay? Yes. Is it particularly relevant? No. Just as it wouldn't be relevant if the shooter were gay. Imagine the outrage from gay rights groups if the shooter were gay and the right wing media ran with that! You can't have it both ways. Let a hero be a hero.

I DO think it's worth mentioning that he was gay so people can be aware of it and hopefully shift away from whatever negative misconceptions they have on their own volition...but the more you force something ("HE WAS GAY!!!"), the more likely people are to be annoyed and dismissive.

His being gay isn't relevant to me insofar as he didn't help her because he was gay, he helped her because he was a heroic person. The fact that he's gay is secondary and the thought of his sexuality being exploited makes me uncomfortable.

HT said...

Tim - re: future. DITTO.

Paddy -

Paddy O said...

Yes, but does Mr. Hernandez play either the violin or the piano? That's what really counts.


____

Laughing!

Belkys said...

At Ft Hood was a woman police officer who shot down the terrorist

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Imagine if our culture somehow caused all people to rush such an attacker, every time and often with violent retribution when they got to him. If an attacker knew this was the inevitable outcome of his attack, many terrible things might be avoided: 9/11, Columbine, Fort hood, Pearl Harbor, World War II, endless numbers of hostage takings, hijackings and probably most wars. I think passivity or the expectation of it is a major condition of most aggression and evil. Certainly it's success requires it.

Skyler said...

Amen, waterbag.

I read one time that in Iceland Viking days it was considered a crime to surrender property to a highwayman without a fight. I think that is an enlightened policy.

Skyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HKatz said...

At Ft Hood was a woman police officer who shot down the terrorist
I remember reading that, but I don't think she was the one who ultimately brought down the guard.

There was another mass shooting at a church where a female volunteer security guard traded fire with and brought down the killer (who had 1000 rounds of ammo on him...)
http://articles.cnn.com/2007-12-10/us/colorado.shootings_1_gunman-security-guard-casings?_s=PM:US

HKatz said...

That should be, brought down the guy, not guard...

deborah said...

I read up on the Ft. Hood shooting yesterday, and if the source was correct, the female officer and Hasan were rushing each other and firing at the same time, but she went down and a male MP brought Hasan down.