Onlookers provide critical medical care at scene of Mother's Day shooting

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

Before EMS got to the scene of the Mother's Day shooting, people in the crowds rushed to help the victims.  One onlooker, originally from Denver, made a difference on the scene.

One of the people on the scene of the shooting was Jarrett Pytell, a third year LSU medical student. He was showing off the city's culture, fun and uniqueness to out-of-town visitors. Then this happened.

"I saw the guy just shooting into the crowd. At that point everybody had just kind of jumped onto the ground," said Jarrett Pytell about the gunman. "He was pointing in one specific direction. He wasn't spraying. He wasn't moving his arm around. It was very directed. So whether that, I don't know if it was one person, but it was in one direction. It was so fast. It was the scariest thing about how quickly the bullets were coming out of this gun. I don't even know how many shots there were because they were in such rapid succession, you couldn't almost, I couldn't tell the difference between where one shot ended and the other began. That's how fast it was."

The gunman ran off. He looked like one of Pytell's students when he taught elementary school in the 9th Ward at Drew.

"He was just any other kid that I've taught before, that I see every single day. I mean, there was nothing out of the ordinary about him," he said.

And then chaos.

"There were cops everywhere. Looking on the ground, you could see shell casings on the street. The people were, it was mayhem. People  were just like screaming, 'Where are the ambulances!' EMS starts coming, people were just like yelling at them, 'Come this way. Come this way,'" he remembers.

That's when Pytell, like so many others, began to help the victims. He's in a beige cap helping a bleeding victim in a Twitter picture from @petercook. He saw people making tourniquets and applying pressure to stop the bleeding. He saw people with severely broken bones, possibly from falling in the crush of the crowd. He used his training at the LSU Trauma Center as a guide.

"I wasn't scared or nervous. I had a great, my chief (surgery) resident Dr. (Kelly) Kempe. She was like so cool, calm, and collected under pressure. I was just like thinking about her," said Pytell.

He hopes to convince his friends to come back for all the good in New Orleans. He says he won't leave.

"I'm going to go back to another second line. I mean, this is like the best part of our community," he said.

And to update you on the victims, all but five have left the hospital. One is at Tulane in fair condition. Four are at LSU Interim Hospital (University.) One is stabilized and not in the ICU while the other three are in critical condition, facing many more surgeries for internal organ damage, and several weeks in the hospital according to Chief of Trauma, and Tulane trauma surgeon, Dr. Norman McSwain.
 

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