Upon hearing gunshots while shopping with his family at a Walmart in Dallas, Rafael Semmler immediately transformed from a father and a spouse into what he had previously spent 11 years training in Kuwait, Iraq and Bosnia to be — an Army soldier.
First, he quickly led his family outside for safety. Then he returned inside to see what he could do to assist.
“You don’t really think about it,” he recalled to KDFW. “It’s just at that time it’s kind of like instinct. It’s what you’ve been trained to do, and was my first instinct was to go toward it to see if there’s anything I could do to help out.”
And so without an ounce of trepidation in his heart, the 11-year Army veteran marched directly to the store’s McDonald’s, where the most commotion appeared to be. What he found was unnerving.
“Another gentleman was like, ‘I’ve been shot — I’m dying,’” Semmler said. “So I immediately went directly to him first.”
Semmler, who had served as both an infantryman and a medic in the Army, discovered that the man had been shot in the arm and was losing a lot of blood.
“Instantly, I grabbed shirts, ripped them off, put pressure points on the entrance and exit wound,” he added. “(I) tied it up, told him it’s going to hurt … He just kept telling me, ‘Please don’t leave me, just stay with me. Stay here.’”
The victim apparently met two other men at the restaurant to arrange the purchase of a cell phone, according to KDFW.
Luckily for the unidentified man, Semmler stuck by his side until authorities arrived. The man was hospitalized in stable condition, KDFW reported.
Whoever the man is, he ought to consider himself very lucky. Had the military veteran not been there to help him, only God knows what may have happened. Shoppers have died in mall shootings when help was not available.
Watch local coverage of the incident below:
By Monday, the suspects in the case had still not been located.
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H/T Fox News