Two Portland police officers credited with saving life of shooting victim
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Two Portland police officers were credited Sunday for saving the life of a shooting victim.
PPB said on the evening of March 8, East Precinct officers were dispatched to a shooting at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Southeast 92nd Avenue. Several witnesses called 911 reporting that someone had been shot and was bleeding heavily. Officers Justin Raphael and Tyler Wyatt were the first to arrive on the scene.
“When we rolled up to the apartment complex, there was at least a dozen, maybe more, people screaming at us for help,” said Officer Wyatt. “That’s when we saw the gentlemen laying by the front door of an apartment with significant blood loss. There were several pools of blood in the parking lot. He was not super responsive to any of our questions initially. We also noticed there was a firearm laying next to him. That’s pretty common for shootings that we go into. We have no knowledge of what we are going into, just that there were gunshots. So at this point we don’t know if the shooter is still there or not.”
Officer Raphael secured the firearm on the ground while Officer Wyatt started to help the shooting victim.
“Right away you could see that not only was there a significant amount of blood in the street and the parking lot, but the wound was still kind of gushing out of him,” said Officer Wyatt. “His pants were completely soaked. It wasn’t raining that day or anything. There was just blood everywhere. I started removing his clothing to find the wound and isolate it, just like we were taught in training.”
After finding the gunshot wound, Wyatt believes the victim had been shot in the femoral artery.
“At this point it’s a matter of he’s going to have to go into surgery 100% to get this solved, but we need to give him a little bit more time,” said Officer Wyatt. “So anything we can do to give him more time is going to increase his changes of living.”
Officer Raphael retrieved equipment to pack the wound and they applied a tourniquet before EMS arrived.
“This scene kind of highlights the dynamic encounters we see on a pretty consistence basis. We came into this more multiple callers with little information. All we knew was there was some kind of disturbance, somebody had been shot, and that maybe a gun was in play,” said Officer Raphael. “We have one job to do first, which is to do police-related activity right away. Secure the scene and ensure it’s safe to allow other agencies to come in. The second hat we put on is rendering aid. Sometimes we are the first component of that emergency aid.”
Officer Raphael said he is thankful for the extensive training, called Tactical Emergency Causality Care, that PPB officers receive as well as equipment provided to officers to help render aid.
“We were able to do our job,” Officer Raphael said. “While he was being treated he was in and out and it was clear that the blood loss was starting to affect him significantly. At one point he just asked if I could hold his hand which was a pretty intense moment. And I did. I held his hand and told him to keep squeezing my hand and stay with me. I’m asking him questions, seeing if he knows where he is, just basic orientation questions. I’m trying to affirm to him that everything was going to be alright and we were going to get him through this. I held his hand until he was loaded into the ambulance.”
Both officers said they haven’t seen the victim since he was taken to the hospital, but were told later that night he survived.
“I’m glad you’re still with us,” said Officer Raphael. “I would do it again and I am happy you’re here.”
“Yeah, same,” said Officer Wyatt. “I’m just happy we were able to get there in time and that he is still able to see his family and friends.”
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