SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The image is still fresh in Army Staff Sgt. Isaiah Locklear’s mind. Leaning over a wounded teen inside San Bruno’s Tanforan Mall as chaos broke out all around him.
The shooting took place on July 2 in the crowded mall after an argument between young gang members erupted in gunfire. Two teens were wounded — one with a serious abdomen wound, another with a leg wound.
An image of Locklear, shirtless and using his clothing as a tourniquet to stop the gunshot victim’s wound, became the defining image of his bravery in the aftermath of the shooting.
“He was telling me please don’t let me die,” Locklear recounted Friday. “I told him — ‘Hey, I’m going to stick with you. You’re not going to die. I got you.’ I took the shirt off, applied pressure. I noticed that the bullet went through the stomach and came out the back exiting. I struck with him throughout.”
Staff Sgt. Michael Marl also raced to the scene from the Army recruiting office in the mall to aid victims. He never thought that he may be putting himself in danger by racing to the scene.
“We get trained to block out things that might typically make you panic,” he said. “You just go and do your best to try and help.”
Locklear also had no second thoughts about running toward the sounds of gunshots.
“I was just trying to help and if I had to, then I would sacrifice my own life for someone,” he said.
Both men were scheduled to be honored this weekend during Fleet Week ceremonies in San Francisco.
An 18-year-old San Francisco man and three juveniles ages 14, 15 and 16 were arrested in connection with the shooting. The two victims have recovered from their wounds.