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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA student Daniel Hernandez Jr. first to give medical attention to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

    Daniel Hernandez Jr. and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
    Daniel Hernandez Jr. and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

    UA 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 and was the first person to give medical attention to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

    Hernandez said he received training in high school to be a certified nursing assistant and in phlebotomy, the drawing of blood.

    “”When I approached where the congresswoman was, I ended up seeing that there were a few other people that were injured so I tried to check pulses to see if they were still breathing,”” Hernandez said.

    He said he was only able to check two or three people before moving on to Giffords.

    “”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.

    First he tried to reposition her by propping her up against his chest while holding her steady so she could breathe. Hernandez said he moved her because her position put her at risk of inhaling her own blood.

    After moving her, he applied pressure to her head to stop the blood loss.

    Hernandez started interning with Giffords on Monday, but has known the congresswoman for a number of years. He interned in her 2008 congressional campaign and worked with Giffords and her staff in 2010 while managing a campaign for a local legislative district candidate. 

    “”I just want to make sure that everyone sends their positive thoughts and energy and if they pray their prayers to not just the congresswoman but all of those who were injured and the families of all of those that have family members that have passed on,”” Hernandez said.

    His main concern this Sunday has been staying updated on how everyone involved is doing.

    After the shooting he felt “”just shock and a lot of sadness because not only was it an attack on the congresswoman but I think 19 people, six of whom have unfortunately passed on,”” Hernandez said.

    Several people are calling Hernandez a hero but he doesn’t agree.

    “”I don’t think I’m a hero. I think doing something one off is not something heroic,”” Hernandez said. “”I think the heroes are people like Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Ron Barber, Gabe Zimmerman, and Pam Simon. They are people who have dedicated their lives to public service so for them it wasn’t just a one time thing, it’s spending their entire lives trying to help others.””

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