RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Two Richmond Police officers are being credited with saving an 18-year-old’s life after he was shot multiple times.
On Tuesday officers responded around 5 a.m. to the 2200 block of Creighton Road for a reported shooting.
“We believe he came from behind the cut,” said Officer CJ Arendall. “There was a blood trail back there that we were able to follow.”
Arendall said he and his partner were originally headed to a different call when they were diverted to the shooting off Creighton Road.
When they got to the scene, Arendall said he found an 18-year-old in the grass off Walcott Place bleeding excessively from gunshot wounds to both of his legs.
“[There was] a lot of blood,” Arendall said.
Due to the commotion in the area and the amount of blood already lost, Arendall thought the victim was dead.
“Then I saw him give that big gasp of air and I thought, oh we actually have a chance here,” he added.
At that point Officer Centell McNeil had also arrived on scene with his partner. When McNeil noticed the 18-year-old’s injuries he immediately jumped into action, grabbing his personal tourniquet.
“His wound was [near his knee] and I put it [up on this thigh],” McNeil said. “You always go high and tight when you’re applying a tourniquet… You have a high survival rate if you’re able to stop the bleeding of those two major arteries. That was our main goal, to stop the bleeding and make sure he was calm throughout the whole thing.”
The officers said the victim was in and out of consciousness as they applied the tourniquets to the victim’s legs. Both credit their previous military knowledge and training from the academy to try and save the teen’s life.
“Without the help of Richmond Police, I think we probably wouldn’t have been able to save this male,” said Sean Riley, a Richmond Firefighter who responded to the scene.
Riley, McNeil and Arendall all have previous military experience with extensive training in medical combat situations. They encourage the public to learn the basics of first aid and how to use a tourniquet.
“Having a tourniquet or even something like a belt, you’ll be able to run up and help someone,” Riley said.
“I hope we can refer to it more because it is great life-saving work,” McNeil added. “I hope we can incorporate more emergency medical stuff in the academy so we can have a better survival rate of getting these people to the hospital.”
First responders said the actions by the RPD officers helped control the bleeding and the victim was then taken to VCU Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.
“I think the worst phase is over as of right now,” McNeil said. “I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and my prayers for him so he can survive and pull through.”
“Every time we have a victim and we’re able to save somebody and get that person the help they need in a timely fashion and see them pull through, it’s refreshing,” Arendall added. “You know you helped save somebody.”
Police said they do not have a suspect description or details about the shooting.
Anyone with information should contact Major Crimes Detective Sergeant K. Reed at (804) 646-5034 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
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