APSU student Wesley Crow was leaving class when he heard the one noise no one wants to hear; gunshots. Crow got into his car but rather than driving away, he drove toward the sound.
As Crow turned onto Ford Street he saw two men carrying their friend in between their arms. Crow pulled over to the side of the road and got out of his vehicle to administer first aid.
“I informed them [two men carrying their friend] that I had some training and that I had a first aid kit in my car,” Crow said..
Crow’s training was as a Foy Center lifeguard and he earned his Wilderness First Aid certification. The latter qualifier came through the many outdoor expedition programs that the Foy Center provides to APSU students.
“I noticed there was a nice hole in his jeans on his upper inner thigh,” Crow said.
Crow couldn’t identify if there was an exit wound or how bad the entrance wound was. The danger then was that an artery, such as the femoral artery, was pierced and the bleeding could become fatal.
Crow went to grab a knife and began to cut the man’s jeans to find the wound.
“I turned his leg around a little bit and I couldn’t see any exit wound, but there was a lot of blood coming out and pooling happening inside his jeans,” Crow recalls. “At that point, I reached over and grabbed a roll of gauze and wadded it up and pressed it really hard against his leg.”
The other two men with the victim were on the phone with EMS.
“At this point, he was going into shock, he was very pale and clammy. You could see he was sweating and slurring some of his speech,” Crow said. ‘I continued to engage him, asking him things like his name.”
After this, another man approached the scene.
“That kind of scared me, because, after a shooting, you have some guy running up the hill toward you,” Crow said. “All of his buddies that helped carry this guy up the hill kind of tried to dip out for a second.”
The approaching man said, “I’m not the shooter,” and helped to apply a tourniquet.
It was at this point that APSU Campus Police showed up to clear the area.
“They asked some questions about when I got there. One of the officers asked me to pull my hand away to see the bullet wound,” Crow said. “At that point, I noticed the bleeding had stopped. One or two minutes later, the ambulance showed up.”
After the ambulance took over the situation, Crow stood around for about ten minutes. His hands were covered in blood and his adrenaline was flowing.
“The officer came up and asked my name, he didn’t really ask me any questions,” Crow said. “He was really talking with the guys who witnessed this incident.”
A few minutes later, someone gave Crow some Germ-X to clean off his hands.
After everything had calmed down Crow called one of his friends.
“He was really concerned like, ‘Dude I just got a campus alert that there was a shooting. Are you ok?’” Crow said. “And I was like, ‘Dude, funny story; I was a first responder to that.”
Crow notes that as everything had come to pass, he was in a state of shock about the whole situation. Crow went about the rest of his day.
“It all happened so quickly and I kind of stepped into that mechanical mode of acting and didn’t really think of all the emotions,” Crow said.
In total, Crow believes the entire situation last about 20-30 minutes from getting into his car to leaving.
Crow’s act of heroism didn’t go unnoticed.
The Red Cross awarded him a certificate of merit for saving a life.
“It was really cool to get that award from the Red Cross,” Crow said. “I was nominated for that award last semester.”
The award was also signed by the President of the United States.
Crow plans on either going into graduate studies following college or becoming a campus minister with Chi Alpha.