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Nursing student saves gunshot victim's life

Posted: August 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Charter College medical assisting student Alexis Miranda stands in her classroom Tuesday. Charter College medical assisting student Alexis Miranda stands in her classroom Tuesday.
Charter College medical assisting student Alexis Miranda stands in her classroom Tuesday.

A young woman studying to become a medical assistant is being called a hero today after coming to the aid of a shooting victim she found crawling on the ground on her way home from school.

Alexis Miranda, 20, a medical assisting student at Charter College on Sierra Highway, found a man bleeding from a gunshot wound in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Jakes Way on Monday shortly before 10 p.m.

“I left school, and I was driving home,” she told The Signal shortly before her Tuesday night class. “And I noticed somebody crawling on the ground.”

At first, Miranda, who was wearing a blue “scrubs” uniform, just continued to walk to her apartment.

“And then I saw his friends who must have assumed I was a nurse because I was in my uniform,” she said. “They were yelling at me to help. I told them I was a student.

“But then I noticed blood all over the floor, and that he had been shot,” she said. “The blood was coming from his knee, from behind his knee — and the blood was squirting out. I pushed my hand on it and applied pressure.”

Miranda, who phoned 911 immediately, said the bullet had hit a main artery.

“It’s called the popliteal artery,” she said.

Miranda then checked the gunshot victim’s pulse.

“He was shaking. He started to go to sleep. His pulse was weak,” she said. “It seemed like he was about to fall asleep,  and I told his friends to keep talking to him and to make sure he stays awake.”

Her husband arrived, then took off his shirt and wrapped it around the gunshot wound, she said.

Miranda’s teacher, school President Drew Totten, is calling her a hero today.

“The paramedics stated to her that by providing critical aid immediately, she assisted in saving his life,” Totten said.

“It just happened,” Miranda said. “I don’t think I realized it at first.”

About 20 hours after the shooting and her efforts to attend to the victim, she said she’s just starting to process the incident.

“I just did what I thought was right,” she said, adding that the medical classes offered in her nine-month course have given her confidence.

A deputy with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Tuesday the gunshot victim, whose identity was not released, was receiving treatment and was expected to make a full recovery.

“He’s going to make it,” Sgt. Dean Curry said.

“He was hanging out in the alleyway over on Jakes Way when, apparently, somebody came up to him and shot him,” Curry said.

Detectives with the Career Offenders Burglary Robbery Apprehension Team — or COBRA — were searching for a suspect.


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