Friday, May 24, 2024

After Giffords Shooting, Intern Springs to Action

As U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, (D-AZ) fought to recover from a bullet wound to the head Sunday, federal officials in Arizona charged 22-year old Jared Lee Loughner with five counts related to Saturday’s tragic shooting outside a Tucson supermarket. In total, 19 people were shot in the shooting rampage, leaving 6 dead.  Among the six people killed were Arizona’s Chief Federal Judge John M. Roll, a 9-year-old girl, and one of Giffords’ aides.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ) who was also the recent target of violent threats called the assault “horrible and unbelievable and shocking….It’s hard to explain and really difficult to comprehend.”

According to Dr. Michael Lemole, one of the surgeons who operated on Rep. Giffords, the wounded congresswoman is responding to commands as she emerges from a medically induced coma.

Daniel Hernandez, an intern to the congresswoman, was the first person to give medical attention to Rep. Giffords.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat reported, University of Arizona, political science junior Daniel Hernandez Jr. was signing people into the “Congress on Your Corner” event on Saturday when he heard gunshots.  He ran toward the gunshots to see if he could help.  He saw many people lying on the ground, including a young girl. Some were bleeding. Hernandez, also a certified nursing assistant, moved from person to person checking pulses.

“First the neck, then the wrist,” he said. One man was already dead. Then he saw Giffords. 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.

“I saw that she had been severely injured because she had that severe gunshot wound to the head … she was my main focus so I stayed with her and tried to help her as much as possible,” Hernandez said.

He stayed with Giffords until paramedics arrived. They strapped her to a board and loaded her into an ambulance. Hernandez climbed in with her. On the ride to the hospital, he held her hand. She squeezed his back.  The fact that Hernandez was nearby and able to react quickly probably saved Giffords’ life, said state Rep. Matt Heinz, (D-AZ), and a hospital physician.

The family asks that if you wish to make a positive gesture that you consider supporting two organizations the congresswoman has long supported: Tucson’s Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross.

Mother Jones

Huffington Post


AZ Central


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords


  1. Wow, Incredible person!