SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The only officer shot in the gunfight that killed the husband and wife behind the San Bernardino shootings says he’s a former Marine who was determined to keep fighting even after he took the bullet.
Officer Nicholas Koahou was among those who came upon the couple hours after they had killed 14 people at a social services center. He gave his account of the gunbattle at a news conference Tuesday.
Koahou says he saw the couple refusing to stop as they drove in a black SUV, and he started hearing gunshots. Then the car and the officers in front of him stopped and the shots turned into a constant, deafening barrage.
He was running to help back up a deputy when he was shot. The man, Syed Farook, was already down in the street at the time. It was his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who was still firing from the back of the vehicle and shot him, he said.
Koahou said his time as a Marine taught him he was never out of the fight, and he got back up on his feet on his own until other officers ran up to extract him.
Several of the first-responders spoke to the media Tuesday about the attack.
San Bernardino sheriff’s detective Jorge Lozano helped people escape from the initial terrorist assault at the Inland Regional Center. Lozano’s actions, to clear a hallway at the center and get people out of the building, were captured on a cell phone camera by Gabi Flores, a survivor at the scene, in a video first published by KPCC.
In the video, Lozano tries to reassure a group of nervous people being evacuated from the Inland Regional Center.
“Try to relax, try to relax. I’ll take a bullet before you do, that’s for damn sure,” he says.
On Tuesday, Lozano said he told the people that, in part, to calm them because, “There was a female there with a small child who was shaking like a leaf.”