TUCSON, Ariz. – A 20-year-old intern to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Sunday he used his hands to apply pressure to a gunshot wound to her head while holding her in his lap.
A 61-year-old Tucson woman, Patricia Maisch, who was waiting in line with her husband to get a photo with Congresswoman Giffords at the meet-and-greet on Saturday morning grabbed the magazine from the gunman, and two men tackled him. Mrs. Maisch likely saved dozens of lives. "Somebody said 'Get the magazine!' so I got the magazine, and I was able to secure that," Maisch said. "That's what needed to be done." -- "We could have had 31 more people shot," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said. Two men tackled the suspect — they were identified as Roger Sulzgeber, who was also in line, and Joseph Zimudie, who was at a nearby Walgreens and heard the shooting. The shooter reached for a magazine as he struggled with the men, Maisch said. They were able to keep him subdued until the Sheriff's men arrived.
Meanwhile, the intern — Daniel Hernandez — who had only started working with Giffords just five days earlier, was around the corner more than 30 feet away when he heard the shooting start."When I heard someone say 'gun,' I knew there was likely a gunman and she was likely the target because of her position. So I rushed to where I knew she would be," Hernandez said Sunday.
After the suspect — identified by authorities as Jared Loughner, 22 — was subdued, Hernandez said he started checking the pulses of those hurt. Then he noticed Giffords had been shot in the head, and he rushed to help the congresswoman and her assistant. "I've known them for a few years, and I consider them personal friends. So it wasn't just the person I was working for. It was, this is my friend Gabby and this is my friend Ron. And I needed to make sure that they were OK," he said. He hugged her up against his chest and sat her upright. He tried to stop the blood loss with his hands and some frocks provided by butchers. Giffords was conscious and alert, Hernandez said. "She wasn't speaking however, she was letting me know that she understood what I was saying by grasping my hand and squeezing when I would ask her to." He went with Giffords in an ambulance to the hospital, where she is in critical condition but expected to survive. "I don't consider myself a hero," Hernandez said. "This is something that I've only done once and I hope I never have to go through again."
All four are being hailed as heroes in the shooting that killed six and gravely injured the lawmaker during an event at a Tucson grocery store.