Theater shooting witness carries teacher to safety: ‘He’s coming, he’s coming’

Federal investigators respond to the scene of a shooting at the Grand Theatre on Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, La. (AP Photo/Denny Culbert)

LAFAYETTE, La. (MEDIA GENERAL/KLFY) – Sean Duke, who served in Afghanistan, was watching a movie Thursday night when he heard a gunshot from the theater next door. Soon afterwards, Duke was helping to carry a bleeding teacher to safety.

Gunshots: “He’s coming”

When Duke heard the gunshots, he said he was alarmed, but no one moved. Then, they all heard an emergency order to leave the theater. It was only once he was outside that chaos set in, he said.

Outside, Duke saw a lady running and screaming, “Get away from the building, get away from the building, he’s coming, he’s coming.”

Teacher shot

Duke then saw the teacher coming out, and she collapsed. She’d been shot in the leg.

“She was trooper though. I’ve got to give her that. She was not in panic mode,” said Duke.

Duke said he tried to get her to relax and keep counting. Meanwhile, an officer came over to apply a tourniquet to the woman. Then, more shots rang out.

More shots

“Pop, pop, pop,” Duke said he heard three to five more shots inside the theater. The officer ran off and the ambulance was forced to stay away from the crime scene.

Not a prank

Duke said throughout the chaos, he was able to call the victim’s mother. At first, her mother thought it was a prank. Duke said he didn’t have time to entertain her, so he hung up. The teacher’s mother called back and Duke explained what happened.

Carried to safety

Then, Duke and another man carried the teacher about 80 yards to the ambulance. When they got there, the other man that was helping promptly passed out.

“The teacher, she handled it like a champ. I served in Afghanistan and I’ve seen some soldiers handle it a lot worse than she did,” Duke said.

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