A 66-year-old woman who helped treat an injured victim during the mosque shootings in Christchurch and called his wife for him is being hailed as a hero for her actions.
At least 49 people were killed and more than 40 others others wounded when an immigrant-hating white supremacist opened fire during Friday prayers at two houses of worship in New Zealand.
Jill Keats was driving on Deans Avenue on her way to a shopping mall when she heard what she thought were firecrackers and saw young men running down the street, Newshub, a New Zealand news outlet, reported.
“[But] all of a sudden it got quite violent, and I thought, That’s not firecrackers— and they just started falling,” Keats told Newshub. “One fell to the left of my car and one fell to the right.”
#ChristchurchMosqueAttack: "I'm 66 and I never thought in my life I would live to see something like this," says an eyewitness who helped an injured man call his wife on the phone during New Zealand's #ChristchurchShootings pic.twitter.com/KMfz5ekmAS
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) March 15, 2019
Keats said she stopped her car in shock and leaned over her seats to avoid the bullets. She saw that one of the men who was lying near her car had been shot in the back.
She then opened her car doors and, with the help of another driver behind her, put the injured victim in the back of her car to protect him from the gunfire.
The other driver went to get a first aid kit from his car, and they both began dressing the victim’s wound.
Keats said she was shaking so hard that a “nice Muslim guy came up and gave me some help” to compress the victim’s wound.
“The guy I was compressing, he was trying to ring his wife and I managed to get it and answer the phone and I said, ‘Your husband’s been shot outside the mosque. Don’t come here to Deans Ave, you won’t get through — but please go to a hospital and wait for him,'” Keats recalled.
“Then I kept talking to him and telling him that she was at the hospital waiting and he wasn’t to give up,” Keats said.
Keats and the other driver held pressure on him until help arrived. She said that another victim who had fallen across the road had died while she was helping the injured man.