​Witness describes Lafayette shooting scene, aiding victim

A veteran from the war in Afghanistan who aided a shooting victim at a Lafayette theater said the woman handled her gunshot wound "like a champ."

Sean Duke told CBS Affiliate KLFY he was next door to the Grand 16 screening room where John Russel Houser opened fire Thursday night when he first heard a shot.

"I kind of alarmed me. It definitely caught my attention," he said.

John Russell Houser fired 13 bullets in all, killing two people and wounding nine, before ultimately ending his own life.

Duke said about 10 or 15 seconds after the first shot an alarm went off, and an announcement that an emergency required patrons to leave the building.

"It was calm until we got outside," he said, "but when we got outside, right outside the exit door a lady started screaming, 'Get away from the building, get away from the building! He's coming, he's coming!'

"That's when things started getting a tad bit chaotic," he said.

One of the shooting victims, a teacher who had been shot in the leg, had collapsed outside. Duke described her as calm. "She was a trooper," Duke said. "She was not in panic mode."

He tried to get her to breathe normally, as a police officer applied a tourniquet.

He said the ambulances were not allowed close to the building, so the woman was laid out on the grass.

Then more shots were heard from inside. The police officer left, while Duke and another man carried the woman about 80 yards to the ambulances.

He said the woman stayed strong the entire time, as he helped her stay focused with breathing. Then the man who helped carry her passed out. "He had a panic attack -- I guess it kind of hit him as well," Duke said.

He also called the woman's mother: "She thought I was prank calling her, which I guess I could understand. I didn't have time to entertain her so I just hung up the phone. Then she called me back, and then I expressed to her what was going on, explained to her that her daughter was okay, she was conscious.

Duke told KLFY's Darla Montgomery the woman handled her gunshot wound "like a champ."

"I've served in Afghanistan, I've seen some folks that have handled it a lot worse than she did," he said.

To listen to the interview click on the video player below from KLFY.

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.