PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Portland police officers arrived at a shooting scene at the Parkland Apartments at SE 92nd and Powell last Tuesday night they found one man wounded, laying in pools of blood in the parking lot.
But Officers Tyler Wyatt and Justin Raphael knew what to do. They used the tools they always carry with them — and they used some human kindness.
“All we knew for certain is someone had been shot, some sort of disturbance had occurred, and maybe a gun’s in play,” Raphael told KOIN 6 News.
After passing frantic bystanders and pools of blood in the parking lot, the officers found a man in front of the building covered in blood.
“It was still gushing out of him. His pants were completely soaked,” Wyatt said. “We don’t know at this point if the shooter’s still there, what’s going on really.”
But what they both realized is the man was shot in a main artery in his leg and was on the verge of dying.
“He was asking if he could take a nap,” Wyatt said.
Raphael added that it was “clear he’s in grave condition. He’s going in and out of consciousness.”
There was no time to search for the shooter. They had to work quikcly if they were going to try and save his life.
“Justin retrieved our C-clot. It’s a hemostatic packing agent,” Wyatt said. “So I began packing trying to do anything we can to stop it.”
As Wyatt stuffed the wound, Raphael applied a tourniquet and tried to keep the victim awake.
“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,” Wyatt said. “So anything we can do to give him more is going to help increase his chance of living.”
Raphael said, “At one point he just asked if I would hold his hand, which was a pretty intense moment. And I did. I held his hand and I told him, ‘Keep squeezing my hand, stay with me.'”
The victim was taken to the hospital and PPB said he survived because these officers were able to stop the bleeding on the scene. The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear.
During the interview with KOIN 6 News, a motorist drove by and yelled, “Police are murderers.” Wyatt and Raphael said this is something they deal with all the time.
“I hate to say that you get used to it but a part of you just has to accept there’s a part of society that’s going to have their opinion on that,” Raphael said. “I know in my heart who I am and what I am.”
Wyatt said he’d like to sit down and have a conversation with people like that motorist. He said he knows they could find theing to agree on and get along.
This is at least the 7th time this year PPB officers said they have used their emergency tools to help save a life. Each officer always has an IFAK — an individual first aid kit.
Both officers said they are thankful for the regular first aid training provided by PPB.