DISCLAIMER - At no point am I trying to be braggadocios or trying to gossip. At no point am I trying to pass myself off as brave or even competent. I am simply retelling events as they occurred in my eyes. I will re-retell these events for my Kung Fu friends on our forum in a slightly different way, I'm simply putting it on here first because
A: The laptop has a problem with the cursor jumping while I'm typing
B: It also has a problem with going back a page or three at a time randomly (that may be user error and me effing with the mouse), losing information and LJ has an auto "Save Draft" function every time you pause a sentence
C: It's easier for me to remember it all in this way
I would not be writing this at all if I had not talked to the other person involved and gotten his OK, knowing now that everything is relatively fine, and I also believe he only gave me that OK because I was actually there and witnessed what happened.
So. I was telling you about Funeral Service Education. We have four classes a week, two each day, but we actually have five in total. To make sure we wouldn't have all five midterm tests in one day, Mrs. Smith gave us one on Wednesday the 1st.
So after the test, everyone was allowed to leave. If you're not familiar with the Jeff State campus, the Harold C. Martin Career Education Building (also known as the drafting, veterinary, and funeral building) is three parking lots downhill from everything else on campus. I called Liz and told her I was done but needed to go print some things in the computer lab first, so I'd just meet her where up front where she usually dropped me off. I put my earbuds in and was already up the hill in the next parking lot when I heard it.
Even through the music, I heard it. If you've ever heard a gunshot before, you know what it is. It's not a firecracker. It's not a car backfiring.
But I turned around anyway and yelled WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!?
I see one of my friends backing away from his rear car door, holding his... arm? maybe? an he yells back "GUNSHOT!"
One of our other friends who was abut to leave with him yanks he car back into the parking lot and helps him back into the building. In the, three? Five seconds that I've watched this happen, a lot has gone on in my head.
Gunshot? He didn't say gunshot. Holy shit, he said gunshot. Did he shoot himself? No one's around to shoot him, he shot himself. With what, he must have a gun in his car. What do I do?
So I did the only logical thing to do and I ran back inside to help in any way that I could.
When you enter our building, you enter on the second floor. I saw the blood on the ground and floor but couldn't tell which way it was going, and out of instinct I ran to the basement where our classes are held. I saw our teacher in her office with another student talking about grades and other funeral stuff.
WHERE THE FUCK IS [name redacted]?!?
"Hush that up," she yelled back. "He's done, he went outside."
No, he shot himself!
And she went kinda apes, because she heard "gun" and put it together with "school" and "one of her students" and that's just where her mind went, but I presume she was ready to even put herself in danger if it called for it. Thank God it didn't.
We ran back upstairs and the guy and girl were coming out of the bathroom, he had washed his hand and wrapped it in paper towels and blood and water was dripping everywhere. My teacher doesn't curse and had just gotten on to me for it but she saw that and yelled "HOLY SHIT!!!"
The girl was already calling 911 which routed to our campus police. Luckily, the veterinary classes had ice and gauze and we could wrap his hand tight and we were able to call his mother.
The EMTs showed up and I asked the girl if she was going to the hospital with him. She said she would if he asked, so I got outta there. It took a day or three for me to find out just how lucky he was, but I used my Facebook stalking skills and became friends on there with some cool folks from class who clued me in to what went down other than what I already knew from witnessing it.
He had told us Wednesday that he was moving the gun from his console to his backpack. He didn't know why it was primed and it went off.
I don't own guns, I don't judge people who do (except I dunno why you would have so many assault rifles unless you were in the military or somethin'). With the exception of a .22 when I was a kid, I've fired about ten guns in my life and that was all in one day. I don't know shit about guns or gun discipline except what I practiced that one time 'cause I don't have one to practice it all the time. What I do know is that to shoot himself through the hand, he had to have his hand in front of the barrel. Shit happens.
It didn't hit him anywhere else. Just his hand. From what I understand, it came close to his head on the exit, but we'll never really know I guess. It didn't hit anyone else. Just him. It also (presumably) went into the woods next to the road and didn't end up hitting someone's car or house.
The lucky thing is that the bullet went right through his hand without blowing out the back and destroying his flippin' hand in the process. No bones destroyed, very little surgery needed and a bit of a skin graft.
He's lucky as hell. Haha, "lucky." That's at least twice I've used that word in a row, but I don't know what else to say. I suppose he still would have been fine if no one else were around. If the girl had left already, if the teachers hadn't been alerted to his problem, if I had just moseyed on up to the student center and got a Mountain Dew and Kit Kat before priting my stuff off. He could have gone inside, called 911 himself, went into the veterinary office himself. But [fate, kharma, God, whatever] threw us all in together at the right time and we all helped because not only do we all care about each other in our class (at least a little, heh) human nature compels us to invest ourselves and stay far the hell away from other's tragedy, both at the same time, and on this day we decided we could all pitch in a little.
I say "we" did all this. The truth is that I didn't really do shit. I sat back and watched.
I'm sure that like me, a lot of you have lied awake, late at night, wondering when your "Superman Moment" will come, when you'll get to play the Hero. I've been working the punching bag and often fantasized about some no-armed SOB starting some crap with me. Or maybe that moment you stop a bully? Tell them to piss off? You never truly know how you'll react in a crisis situation until it happens.
I didn't do anything.
Not because I was afraid, but because everyone around me was already so afraid they wanted to fix the problem so quickly and it seemed there were too many cooks stirring the pot. If I tried to jump in and say, HEY EVERYBODY! Let's calm down, let him calm down, breathe, focus, the medics are on their way. They would have thought I was nuts.
I believe he needed that at the time and looking back I wish I had done it. When I first saw him come out of the bathroom, I immediately could tell that his pain receptors were off and his adrenaline was up, and he was angry... probably most angry at himself [if you're reading this and I'm wrong, please tell me]. He's a happy guy most of the time, you'd call him a teddy bear, but then you see this ball of rage, complaining about his opposite hand hurting because he's having to put pressure on the injured hand, it's the kind of pain that hits you but you don't care because you're so angry you got hurt you could feasibly fight through it and hurt yourself worse. I'm sure there's a term for it, but I dunno what.
I'll be most happy though when he's back in class and we can look back on it and laugh. I think I'm gonna call him "Quick Draw."