Two soldiers came to the rescue of a shooting victim Sunday, stepping in after they saw the injured man hobbling down the road, bleeding badly.
Erich Kelsch and Matthew Hardy walked outside Hardy's home near Academy and Hancock Expressway Sunday afternoon when they came across the victim. They knew they had to do something.
"We go into a situation, we have to be able to think clearly and think on cue," Hardy said.
One of the men kept the victim conscious while the other fashioned a tourniquet.
"My friend got underneath him and made sure he stayed awake, while I removed the belt the person was wearing and wrapped it around his leg as tight as I could," Kelsch recalled.
"All he kept really repeating was, 'Get me to a hospital, get me to a hospital. They shot me, they shot me,'" Hardy told 11 News.
Police say the victim was hit in the leg after someone fired a couple of rounds in broad daylight. Witnesses said a gold or tan sedan was seen leaving the area around 3 p.m., the time of the shooting. There is no available suspect information.
The victim is expected to recover, in no small part thanks to the efforts of the quick-thinking soldiers.
The soldiers told 11 News that a fast reaction on their part was critical.
"You can't have time to freak out...you have to get in there and save lives. You can't be scared," Kelsch said.
If you have any information about this shooting, call police at 444-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.