When shots rang out at the Oklahoma State Fair, most attendees ran in a scene of chaos toward the nearest exits.
But a 14-year-old boy, when he saw the victim lying down outside the Bennett Event Center with bright red blood blooming against his white shirt, instead ran toward where the shooting took place.
Iliah Miguel said when he saw the 22-year-old victim, whom police have not named, he just wanted to help. A video captured by Miguel’s friend, Trisidy Gabehart, shows Miguel trying to keep the victim awake by waving his hand in front of his eyes, while another person came and placed a piece of clothing under his head.
Miguel and the other person lifted and tore the victim’s shirt, revealing the wound on his chest left by the bullet, and Miguel gave his own sweatshirt to apply pressure and slow the bleeding. According to the American Osteopathic Association, applying pressure to a gunshot wound to stop the bleeding was the right move.
“When I seen him bleeding and stuff, I told him to apply pressure,” Miguel said. “And I didn’t really know if it was gonna work or not. But we managed to stop the bleeding in time for the paramedics to get there.”
Juvenile shoots victim during argument at Oklahoma State Fair
Oklahoma City police have said an argument led to a fight at the Bennett Event Center just before 9 p.m. Saturday, which led to one person being shot.
A 17-year-old suspect was arrested on a complaint of assault with a deadly weapon after the shooting and is being held on a $75,000 surety bond, a court docket shows.
Capt. Valerie Littlejohn said that after the initial shooting, someone fired some rounds into the air as people started running.
Miguel said he was inside the event center lobby trying to get money from the ATM for a hot dog. That’s when he and his friends heard the gunshots.
“At first I thought that shot hit me or one of them,” Miguel said. “I felt my heart sink and my legs felt slow … When I seen everybody started running, I started running with them.”
But he didn’t make it very far, after seeing the victim and deciding to stay and help.
Teen’s mother in ‘utter amazement’ at son’s instinct to help shooting victim
Miguel’s mother, Claydene Miguel, said she is proud of her son, but was surprised by how he reacted. It’s one thing to see these situations in movies, but another to experience it in real life, she said.
She lives in Arizona and found out what had happened through a phone call from Miguel after she had gone to sleep for the night. He was calm as he recounted what happened, but her mind was racing wondering if her son was going to be OK.
“I’m in like, utter amazement because he just stopped what he was doing and he knew what to do,” Claydene Miguel said.
Iliah Miguel is originally from Arizona — his family a part of the Gila River Indian Community, which consists of the Akimel O’Otham and Pee Posh People — and is attending boarding school in Oklahoma.
Although being so far from home is hard during this time, Miguel said his family has been completely supportive. He also has found support from his school, where some of his teachers are veterans and have a sense of what he’s going through.
Teen boy and family hope to see shooting victim recover
To the victim, Miguel said he wishes him the best in recovery and life. He said he felt a sense of peace when he read in news reports that he was still alive after the shooting.
He also said he wants to thank the man who was with him while helping the victim, who told him he “did a good job.”
Claydene said she would love to hear from the victim’s family with updates on his condition.
“I really would like Iliah to meet him,” she said. “If that’s possible … Coming from a tribal community, that’s what we’re about. We’re about family and love. We’re praying for him as well, too, so I hope he knows that.”
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Teenanger steps to help victim after Oklahoma State Fair shooting
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