Good Samaritans rushed to help a wounded state trooper who was shot in the leg at a mini-mart store in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, on July 29.
According to witnesses, Pennsylvania State Trooper Jonnie Schooley was shot in the leg at the Franklin Mini-Mart.
Bystanders at the scene immediately restrained the shooter and pulled Schooley out of the store to try and stop the bleeding.
“Not too long after, I heard the shot, they brought the trooper out, and he was just bleeding, and we attended to him,” civilian Matthew Weekley said.
Weekley and other bystanders didn’t hesitate to help the trooper and used their own shirts as tourniquets to stop the bleeding.
“They said, ‘man, he needed a shirt,’ so I took a shirt and made tourniquets for him. People were just wrapping stuff around his leg, and he was directing us, he was like, ‘man, wrap it around my leg, I need it tighter,’ so we just tightened it. The ambulance didn’t come for a while,” Weekley recalled.
According to a criminal complaint, investigators said that Schooley and his partner, trooper Shawn Palmer out of the state police Beaver station, were on patrol when they responded to a disturbance at the store.
The complaint stated that Damian Bradford was threatening people with a pistol when the troopers intervened.
When officers tried to arrest Bradford, a scuffle ensued, and Schooley was shot.
After disarming Bradford, he then attempted to get hold of Palmer’s gun and taser. Bystanders, including Weekley, helped subdue Bradford.
Weekley said it wasn’t a difficult choice for him to help the trooper despite having altercations with law enforcement in the past.
“He a human, man. Like I ain’t really tripping, man, I’ve dealt with cops all my life. I’ve been on the wrong side. I’m on the good side now, so it really wasn’t nothing,” he said. “He’s got some babies waiting at home, as well as me.”
When paramedics arrived, Schooley had lost a significant amount of blood and was airlifted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
Bradford was charged with 13 counts, including attempted homicide, assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, possession of a prohibited firearm and more.
Major Jeremy Richard, deputy commissioner of operations for the PSP, gave thanks to the good Samaritans that night.
“I want to thank the citizens, several who came to the aid of our troopers. The sense of community and support of our police departments must overcome the sense of fear that the gun violence produces,” Richard said.
Authorities say Schooley underwent surgery and is in stable condition. He is expected to fully recover.
Sources told KDKA that Bradford was released from prison in 2021 after serving 16 years for being hired to murder a man in 2005.