The person credited with saving the life of a US congresswoman who was shot at point-blank range Saturday morning is openly gay, according to a published interview.
“She’s been a great ally to the LGBT community,” Daniel Hernandez Jr., a 20-year-old college student intern, told the Dallas Voice Sunday.
Hernandez, a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, applied pressure to Giffords’ entry wound to stop her bleeding after checking the life signs of other victims of the shooting in Tuscon, according to the Arizona Republic.
“First the neck, then the wrist,” he told the Republic. “I don’t even know if the gunfire had stopped.”
Hernandez said he made sure Giffords breathed property by holding her head in his lap before he taught a bystander how to use the same technique on the wounds of his boss, Ron Barber.
Hernandez had been Giffords’ intern for a mere five days before her ill-fated public appearance which she routinely holds outside a grocery store in her congressional district.
All the way to the hospital, Hernandez covered in blood remained at Giffords’ side, holding her hand as she squeezed back on his. Upon learning of her survival, he said he was “ecstatic.”
“She was one of the people I’ve looked up to,” he said. “Knowing she was alive and still fighting was good news. She’s definitely a fighter, whether for her own life, or standing up for people in southern Arizona.”
Hernandez told CNN that he learned first aid in high school and that when the shots rang, his training immediately took hold of him.
Three people helped bring down the accused gunman Jared Lee Laughner, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s office.
Patricia Maisch is credited with holding the gun’s long magazine, allowing time for Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zimudie to capture him.
This video is from MSNBC, broadcast Jan. 8, 2011.
This video is from CNN, broadcast Jan. 9, 2011.