SAN BRUNO (KPIX 5) — In the panicked moments following Tuesday’s shootout inside a San Bruno mall that seriously injured two teens, a pair of Army staff sergeants used their military training to bring calm to a bloody and chaotic scene.
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A day after the terrifying incident, Staff Sergeants Isaiah Locklear and Michael Marl were being praised for their heroics.
Staff Sergeant Locklear, shirtless and using his clothing as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of one of the gunshot victims, may be the defining image of bravery from Tuesday’s shooting inside the Shops at Tanforan.
“Right away, when I ran out, I saw him waving,” Staff Sergeant Locklear told KPIX 5. “He immediately started waving and asking for help, [saying] ‘I’ve been shot.'”
That was when the sergeant tried to stop the bleeding using the shirt off his back.
“I seen that he was shot in the stomach. I started taking off my shirt and applying pressure to the stomach,” remembered the sergeant. “I rolled him over and noticed that the gunshot wound went through the stomach and came out the back.”
Also in the Army recruiting office at the time was recruit Mariel Young, a lifeguard and EMT. She was initially pushed back from the gunfire by Staff Sergeants Locklear and Marl, but quickly jumped into help.
“I just kinda let my instincts as a former lifeguard and EMT kick in,” said Young. “I know that I did just like a quick primary assessment on him; made sure he was okay, talking to us, breathing fine. His bleeding was controlled by the time the paramedics got there.”
Closer to the food court where the shooting took place was Staff Sergeant Michael Marl, a combat vet with three tours of duty under his belt. He heard more cries for help from the second gunshot victim, who had been struck in the leg by a bullet.
“It took a second to find the wound and not a whole lot of bleeding. The kid took it pretty well. I’m pretty proud of the kid. Just hope he’s okay,” Staff Sergeant Marl told KPIX 5.
Both men said it was their Army training that prodded them into action.
“As a soldier, you know, we are in public service. Not just overseas, but also in our community,” said Staff Sergeant Locklear. “That’s what the training is for. We train and re-train. They instill this in us.”
“To be honest, I looked at Sergeant Locklear and saw that look in his face and I knew what we had to do. So we just went out and did it,” explained Staff Sergeant Marl.