MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People across the Twin Cities are still processing what happened last weekend near downtown St. Paul.
Fifteen people were shot inside the popular St. Paul bar Seventh Street Truck Park, located down the block from Xcel Energy Center. Marquisha Wiley, a beloved young woman, was killed in the crossfire of a gunfight.READ MORE: St. Paul Mass Shooting: 2 Men Each Face A Dozen Charges In Deadly Shootout
It’s hard for anyone to hear about, and hard for the people who had to see the scene firsthand.
Emergency call volume is higher than ever in St. Paul these days, but the call that came in Sunday just after midnight was different, says St. Paul Fire Chief Butch Inks.
“My assistant chief called me and informed me that we had multiple people shot and multiple resources out on scene, and that obviously triggered to me that … this is not a normal event,” Inks said.
It was an event that required 55 of the chief’s medic-trained firefighters — half the entire night’s staff. Responders answered the call in four-and-a-half minutes. Chief Inks says they quickly realized this was extensive.
“Our crew responded, and then immediately established control and determined the best that they could how many patients they have, and realize that the amount of patients that were there and needed help,” he said.
The 15 patients were all gunshot victims — with one who had already passed away. Medics walked through the bar counting victims, and labeling their health as green, yellow or red, if critical. They called in for backup. Medic Uli Sanchez, whose wife is also a medic, had just put his baby to bed when he came in to answer a call unlike any other.READ MORE: ‘It’s A Night That I Have Never Experienced’: St. Paul’s Top Cop On What Needs To Change After Mass Shooting
“You could see through the window where all the flashing lights and multiple vehicles scattered everywhere. They had a lot of streets barricaded or blocked off,” Sanchez said. “The biggest thing is always you tell yourself, ‘I pray that there’s not casualties, I pray that there’s somebody that isn’t going to die.'”
His prayer was answered when the two gunshot patients he treated lived.
“We transferred them to the ambulance, continued our treatments and assessments, and then we were on our way,” Sanchez said. “I would say we spent less than five minutes on scene, we were in, out and toward the hospital very quickly.”
He says it was a night he’ll never forget.
“Just the chaos of it. It’s gonna be, you know, a lot to process,” Sanchez said.
It was a night of pain, and a night of strength.
“I am very proud to see us come together and execute something that we’ve only done in training,” he said.MORE NEWS: Terry Brown, Charged In Deadly St. Paul Bar Shootings, Was Barred From Possessing A Gun, Documents Show
Sanchez says the most comforting thing after a traumatic call like that is to talk through it with fellow medics, and find takeaways to be even better for the next call.