Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tucson Heroes, More than you know

Living here in Tucson, we know how special the people here are. We know that when your car breaks down, people jump out of their cars to help push you out of the road, and while you are sitting by the side of the road waiting for your tow company, at least a dozen people will stop and ask if you need to use a cell phone to call for help. We know that if you are in a grocery store and aren't sure how to fix that strange fruit or vegetable,all you have to do is hold it up and ask if anybody knows what to do with it and you will leave with a head full of recipes. We know that people here are nosy. Thank God they are nosy, because that is where our heroes come from.
Everyday, we are hearing more and more about the heroics of that awful day 2 weeks ago. Many of the other heroes will not make the prime time news. For instance, you've heard about Dorwin Stoddard who died  shielding his wife. Did you hear about  Mary Reed who shoved her daughter up against a wall and shielded her, taking 3 bullets? Mary survived and her daughter was physically unscathed. How about George Morris? He tried to shield his wife and was shot twice, one bullet hitting a lung. Unfortunately, his wife died despite his attempt. He is still a hero for trying. Then how about Kenneth Dorushka who pushed his wife to the ground, held her down when she would get up and run and shielded her. He was shot in the arm that protected her. Never mentioned is the Safeway employee from produce who was outside chatting with Shayne Stuge, a bagger. I haven't been able to find his name, but Shayne credits him with pulling her to the ground, saving her life. And then there was Federal Judge John Roll. Many know he was killed, but it has been discovered that he pushed  Ron Barber down, guiding him under a table and shielded Ron with his own body, taking a bullet in the back.

Ron Barber owes his life to two people. Judge Roll, who shielded him, and Anna Ballis. Anna was there to shop, but when the gunshots sounded, she ran to Barber and applied pressure to his wounds. Doctors say that he would not have made it to the hospital without her help. She wasn't the only person to run towards the sound of bullets. There was of course Daniel Hernandez, who ran towards the gunfire and saved Gabriel Giffords. An unnamed Samaritan helped Doris Tucker keep her husband Jim from bleeding to death.  David and Nancy Bowman are a doctor and nurse couple that tried to save little Christina-Taylor Green. Sadly, they failed.
Another person known to run towards the gunfire was Joe Zamudio. He was at the Walgreens when he heard the gunfire. Armed, he readied his gun as he ran towards the gunfire, ready to shoot if need be. At the same time an unnamed person hit Loughner with a chair, Bill Badger grabbed Loughner's left hand, Roger Salzgeber grabbed his right and they and pushed him down. Patricia Maisch grabbed a loaded magazine from the gunman and another unknown grabbed the gun. When Zamudo arrived, he disarmed the man who had taken the gun before bystanders could tell him that wasn't the shooter, so he turned his attention to helping hold Loughner down. Maisch had more heroics to perform. She knelt on the shooter's ankles until she noticed that Badger had been shot in the head and was bleeding profusely. She got someone else to sit on Loughner's ankles while she scrambled to apply pressure to Badger's wound. Badger was on blood thinners and could very well have died without her aid.

These are only the heros that can be singled out, and we don't know all of their names. Add to the list the store employees that grabbed clean aprons and paper towels and ran out to the carnage to give what aid they could, the police, the emts, the emergency room staff, the doctors... the list is huge. But it is very Tucsonian in nature to run to help, and I am proud to live here.

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