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NEWS | Dec. 17, 2019

Running toward gunfire: Army Reserve Soldier demonstrates courage on and off duty

By Staff Sgt. Felix Fimbres U.S. Army Reserve Command

Amidst the hustle and bustle of shoppers at an Ohio mall, a young man ran past Spc. Simone Young screaming, “I got shot, I got shot,” before lifting up his shirt to ask if he was bleeding.

“I heard something. It didn’t sound like a gunshot. It sounded more like a fender bender,” said Young, who is a U.S. Army Reserve Soldier.

It turned out the man was fine but his friend wasn’t. With her heart racing, she followed the man to the parking lot where she saw a young man sitting against a car.

Young was at the mall with her mom for lunch. It was an ordinary fall day in Ohio, and Young was outside her local mall food court texting her boyfriend. Surrounded by cars, she saw a man sitting on the parking lot asphalt leaning against a vehicle. She couldn’t see any blood but could tell the man was in pain.

“I don’t know where I’ve been hit,” the young man said as she approached him.

“I need you to lay down,” Young told him as she began to assess him and do a medic sweep she had learned during her military training to become a combat medic in 2016.

Luckily for him, she had been sharpening her skills while working in the emergency room at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; but he was being difficult.

“I told him, ‘No, seriously, I need you to lay down. I work at the hospital,’” she said.

He listened, and during her sweep she found blood on his right pant leg.

Young could hear sirens in the distance, but she had no idea if they were coming toward her. As she worked on the wound, blood began to spurt. It was all over Young’s hands and clothes. She applied direct pressure to his groin and asked a group of passersby for something to tie off the leg and stop the bleeding. Just then, a car raced through the parking lot and stopped just feet away from the small crowd.

“I was worried the shooter had come back to finish the job.” Young said.

“Everybody back up!” a man shouted as he got out of the car with a gun pointed at them.

“He told me the guy who got shot was his brother, so I told him I was rendering care,” Young said. “I asked him to stop aiming his gun at me and he lowered his gun, so I went back to applying direct pressure and trying to figure out how to tie off the leg with just a bunch of towels someone had brought.”

After a few more minutes, a police helicopter approached the scene. Young breathed a sigh of relief. However, her relief was short-lived as the policeman also drew his weapon.

“I’m rendering care!” Young said as she showed the officer the makeshift tourniquet she was trying to apply. The police officer allowed her to continue but the ambulance pulled up just a few moments after.

“They came up with their aid bags and their SWAT gear. I was just like, ‘Wow! This is really serious.’” Young said. Young was able to provide immediate action until emergency medical technicians arrived and took the victim to the hospital.

“She was one of the few who stuck around to be interviewed by the officers after the incident,” said Detective Steven Kaethow, Felony Assault Unit at the Columbus Police Department. “The officers told me she was rending aid when they arrived and they were very impressed.”

Capt. Victoria Johnson, 371st Minimal Care Detachment, was not surprised Young took action.

“She tells us stories of patients she has helped resuscitate in the ER,” said Johnson. “You can hear the energy, excitement and satisfaction she gets out it. Young continues to prove to herself and everyone else that she is a great medic.”

Young is member of the 371st Minimal Care Detachment, with the 256th Combat Support Hospital, headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio. Enlisting in 2015 and graduating medic school in 2016, Young has a passion for the medical field. She is currently working on finishing her prerequisites so she can pursue a medical degree while working in the emergency room.

The next day, Young received a Snapchat asking if she was Simone Young. The sender revealed he was the man whose life she had saved.

“At this point I began to tear up. His mom also sent me a message telling me how thankful she was that I was there,” Simone said.

Simone has been in a few situations since she first completed her military medical training where she’s had to apply her skills. Just a few weeks after returning home to Ohio after her training she saw a young woman run into a pole while texting and pulled over to provide assistance. Recently, Young was near a multi-car accident and was able to help provide immediate assistance.

“At this point, I feel like this is what I was meant to do. I feel protected, like this is my calling,” she said.