Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting details emerge
The young man in the sweatshirt and hat was brusque, but that didn’t strike her as unusual.
Sara Hummel Rajca said she’s seen all kind of attitudes as a staffer for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
He walked up to the table where a former intern for the congresswoman had volunteered to hand out literature.
He asked the volunteer, Alex Villec, whether Giffords was present at the event.
Yes, he was told, but you have to get in line to meet her.
“Alex started to say, ‘Thank you for coming,’ ” Hummel Rajca recalled Thursday. But the man walked away.
Hummel Rajca said the man headed toward the line of constituents - a short line, maybe 15 to 20 people, she said - but the next thing she knew, he had walked behind her and stood to her right. As de facto photographer for the Giffords’ office, Hummel Rajca almost always was facing Giffords, to get the best image.
On Saturday morning, the young man was standing next to her, with the same dead-on view.
“I saw something moving. I saw his arm go up,” she said. “I saw the gun and I heard the first shot.”
She started to run, to her left, to the safety of the Toyota Corolla she had driven to the event.
The shots came rapidly. “Pop-pop-pop,” she recalled.
“I saw the aim. I thought all the bullets were for her,” she said. Giffords didn’t make a sound.
The 31-year-old staffer fished out the key fob to activate the remote-control lock on the car door and crawled inside, pulling out her cell phone to call 911.
I don’t want to criticize this woman. Most of us don’t know what we would do under the circumstances.
I do want to point out that some people ran towards the shooting, and some ran away. Don’t let the ones who ran towards the shooting tell you they “did what anyone would do”. Clearly that is not the case.
First aid training seems to make a huge difference in people’s reactions. Or maybe people who are the type to run towards danger are the ones who make time to take a first aid class.
Of course those who have served in the military are the most valuable among bystanders in an emergency like this. But of the civilians who have never served, those with a little training seem likely to step up, the way Daniel Hernandez Jr. did.
Take a Red Cross first aid/CPR class. If you took one years ago, take another one, because the information has changed.