Daniel Hernandez says he's no hero, but
that Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords is.
Hernandez's quick thinking is credited
with helping to stop Giffords' bleeding after she was shot in the
head during an outdoor rally in Tucson on Saturday.
Six people, including a federal judge,
died during the shooting rampage. Police arrested 22-year-old Jared
Lee Loughner at the scene and are searching for a second suspect.
Hernandez is openly gay and had been
Giffords' intern for just five days when the shooting occurred.
In an interview Monday with CNN,
Hernandez explained what happened.
“I was about 40 feet away from the
congresswoman and the place she was meeting with constituents and I
was kind of behind a corner so I couldn't see directly where the
congresswoman was from my position. I heard the gunshots and I knew
that people had been injured most likely. So I ran towards where the
congresswoman was. When I got there I saw that there were people who
had been injured. I then tried to see who had a pulse still, see if
people were still breathing. I was only able to check two or three
people before I noticed that Congresswoman Giffords had been injured
severely. So then she became my first priority. Not just because of
her position but also because of the severity of her wounds.”
“I tried to make sure that I picked
her up so that she wasn't in a position where she could asphyxiate on
her own blood because of the position she originally was in. I then
started applying pressure to her wound to try and stem the blood
And when the interviewer asked
Hernandez if he saved Giffords' life, he replied: “I don't think
that I did, I think it was emergency services. People have been
referring to me as a hero. I don't think that that's something I am.
I think the people that are heroes are people like Gabby, who are
public servants and who have dedicated their lives to public
service.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Giffords is a supporter of gay rights.