Giffords intern may have saved her lifePosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Witnesses at the scene of the horrific shooting incident in Tucson say the shooter walked up to Congresswoman Giffords and shot her in the head, before spraying bullets all over the Safeway parking lot.
Some people at the secne put the safety of others ahead of their own, in an effort to save lives. Here's one of those stories.
In times of tragedy, heroes rise up.
In the horrific mass shooting that injured 19 people including Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, one of those heroes is 20-year-old Daniel Hernandez.
"I wanted to see if she was okay," said Hernandez.
Just five days into his new role as intern on Giffords' staff, he was looking forward to his first event with the representative, Congress on the Corner.
"I was helping to kind of direct the flow of traffic and make sure everyone who came in, signed in so they could speak to the congresswoman," said Hernandez.
Then, like so many people at the Safeway plaza, the seemingly non-stop sound of gunfire jerked his attention. He found Giffords, slumped over, desperately needing medical condition.
"The first thing i wanted to do is make sure i moved her to a position shwere she could breathe properly. so i ended up propping her against my chest. and making sure i started to apply pressure to where the wound was to stem the blood flow."
Daniel had basic emergency skills. He did what he'd learned years ago in training and perhaps just as importantly. He stayed with with the congresswoman, held her hand, told her it was going to be okay.
"Just letting her know that someone was there, talking to her. Tell her that someone was trying to contact her family. That everything was going to be okay," said Daniel.
Daniel never left the congresswoman's side until they arrived at the hospital. Shortly after, he was devastated to hear false reports she had died. It wasn't until several hours later he learned Giffords made it through surgery alive.
"I was ecstatic when I found out gabby was still alive, because she's an amazing human being and she is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet," said Daniel.
It goes without saying, the events of the last two days will never leave him. Daniel says he acted not as an intern, but as a human being.
"I think it's just an instinct as a person. Even if it hadn't been Congresswoman Giffords," said Daniel.
But by follwing his instincts, Daniel helped the congresswoman make it out of the mass shooting alive.
Hernandez says he hopes to continue his internship with Giffords' office and one day go into a career in public service.