CHICAGO -- Two men are getting credit for helping save the life of a teenage gunshot victim in the Pilsen neighborhood.
A 16-year-old was shot in the arm, chest and spine in the 1800 block of W. 18th St. Monday evening.
Former army medic, Roberto Montano, was about a block away when the shooting happened.
When he heard a dozen or more shots, he instinctively parked his car and ran to help. The 44-year-old did what he was trained to do.
“And the training says, 'Secure the site. Make sure everybody’s safe. Don’t interfere unless there’s a need to step in,' and there was a need,” he said.
Montano started aiding the wounded victim with the help of a Stroger Hospital surgical resident, who in a stroke of luck, happened to be in the area.
Together the two helped stabilize the teen who was bleeding profusely. They found improvised bandages, applied pressure, and stabilized the wounds.
The victim appeared to be losing consciousness, so the two cleared his airway, got his blood under control and stabilized his circulation.
The objective was to keep the teen alive until paramedics arrived.
Paramedics arrived and took him to Stroger Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
Police say the bullets were fired from a tan-colored sedan.
No suspects are in custody.
The brazenness of the attack and proximity to busy Harrison Park and Orozco Community Academy has Montano and others deeply concerned.
“You know what we really, really need? We’ve got enough people with a good heart. We need more police,” he said.
In a powerful Facebook post that's starting to go viral, Montano described his terrifying experience:
"A young man named Jason (16 y/o) was hit in the arm, chest, spine. As luck would have it, there just happened to be a Cook County Surgical resident and an old Army Medic about a block away. Both rushed in, secured the scene and pushed the untrained crowd back away from the victim.
We made our assessment. Scrounged some improvised pressure dressings. applied pressure, stabilized the wounds with what we had.
(Hands are still shaking from the adrenaline) ...
victim could not feel his legs. Worse still, he was fading so we did everything possible to keep him conscious, as he lay bleeding out on the curb, literally dying in our arms.
Cleared his airway.
Got his blood under control.
Boy maintains his consciousness.
Chicago Fire Dept showed up. We ID'd ourselves and gave a sitrep. Vitals, timeline, the whole 9-yards.
O2 was administered. They started an 18gauge and we pumped the boy full of fluids, snatching him back from death itself.
Hands still shaking. Going to go ahead and sit here for another minute until they stop...
Better now. Angry now. Grateful now.
Not today death, NOT today...
this boy's ours again now. He may not walk again, but he'll live.
You hear the choppers hovering.
They're flying over head.
News is here. Time to go."