Army vet helps gunshot victim following Friday night shooting

Police are still looking for the people who shot a man at a Walmart in the Red Bird area of Dallas. The victim is stable, thanks to a Good Samaritan who used his military training to step in and help as they waited for medics to get there.

Rafael Semmler was at the Walmart on Wheatland with his family, Friday night, when they heard gunfire.


“Everybody started running towards us screaming they're shooting, they're shooting,” said Semmler.

Semmler says he made sure his family got out safely, then his military instincts kicked in.

“You don't really think about it, it's just at that time it's kind of like instinct, it's what you've been trained to do,” he said, “and was my first instinct was to go toward it to see if there's anything I could do to help out.

Semmler went straight to the McDonald’s inside the store where most of the commotion was.

 “Another gentleman was like, I've been shot, I'm dying. So I immediately went directly to him first.”

 Semmler says the man had been shot in the arm and was losing a lot of blood. After eleven years in the military as an infantryman and a medic, Semmler says he’s used to training abroad in places like Kuwait, Iraq and Bosnia, but never thought he’d be using it here at home.

“Instantly, I grabbed shirts, ripped them off, put pressure points on the entrance and the exit wound,” said Semmler, “Tied it up, told him it's going to hurt. He was like, I don't care, just do what you gotta do.

Dallas police say three men met at the Walmart to buy a cell phone, but the deal went bad. Police say the man shot was involved in the assault, they’re still looking for two people who took off after the shooting.

Semmler says he never got the man’s name, but he’s glad he was in the right place at the right time.

“He just kept telling me please don't leave, just stay with me. Stay here, and I told him I'd stay there, so I did.”

Police have not released a suspect description of who they're looking for. According to police - no one else was seriously injured.

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