Avon officers use tourniquets to save gunshot victims after accidental discharge

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AVON, Ind. — A couple of Avon police officers are being credited for using life-saving techniques on two gunshot victims.

On Monday, in the middle of officer Eric Hollingsworth’s shift, he got a call for two people who had been shot.

“(The) main thing you want to do is preserve life as best as you can,” said officer Hollingsworth.

Police say a group of friends was driving on U.S. Highway 36 when a gun went off in the backseat. The driver pulled over in a nearby parking lot, and that’s where police quickly arrived.

“It’s right in front of your eyes, you see it,” said officer Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth and officer Tyler Elsbury both used their tourniquets on the victims. A 24-year-old man was shot in his hand, and a 17-year-old girl was hit in both her legs.

“Obviously, they were both shook up yesterday, rightfully so. It was very fortunate that the response was pretty quick, and we got them out as quick as we could,” said officer Hollingsworth.

Every officer in Marion County and surrounding counties has a trauma kit in their patrol car. Every year, officers go through training. This was the first time both of these Avon officers have deployed their tourniquets at a scene.

“I talked them through staying calm to let us do what we needed, to try and limit the blood loss. Both patients did well,” said Hollingsworth.

Medics took over and rushed the victims to the hospital. The teenage girl’s injuries were more severe.

“The surgeon said last night that she was extremely lucky that nothing was hit in her legs that was life-threatening,” said officer Hollingsworth.

It was a close call that could’ve ended much differently. Officer Hollingsworth is already back on his shift with a new tourniquet strapped to his vest — prepared to protect.

The incident is under investigation.

Over 3,000 trauma kits have been distributed in central Indiana. Now the focus is getting these kits to law enforcement agencies in southern Indiana.

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