Our Common Good
"My mother helped subdue Jared Lee Loughner"

Posted on Reddit: With good reason to be proud of her mother and father….

My mother was one of the people who helped subdue the shooter in Tucson, AZ today.

[…]

  • I am very proud of my mother and father.
  • I am so grateful there are people in this world who will throw their lives on the line to stop the destruction of others, and I am not referring only to my mother,
  • I wanted to share with everyone that if and when the time comes, you may need to ask yourself, what can I do to help? My parents are two normal adults in their 60s who did extraordinary (in the literal sense of the word) things. You all have it in you as well, and I hope this is a reminder to you.
  • I want everyone to cherish the time they have, with loved ones or alone. This could happen anywhere to anyone.

Most of the info is provided in the comments, where she answers questions:

My mother didn’t mention any specific dialog, other than the pain he was experiencing when being subdued. She did not subdue him for the entire duration of his capture, only a portion of it until someone more capable (stronger, bigger) was able to take her position on Jared Lee Loughner’s ankles.

[..]

This is a second-hand account of the event and the massive amount of details I have learned from my mother in the few minutes it took for this entire event to happen. News reports will eventually emerge with more detail than I am sharing with you now, but to the best of my memory and ability, this is how she described it. This is not necessarily exactly what happened, but how I observed how my mother observed it.

The event was a single file line (with except of those who were together, in the case of the poor grandmother and 9-year old daughter at the front of the line) where people were set to meet Gabrielle personally.

My mom was the first civilian person to arrive at the event, but asked a staffer (I believe) if she could write her name down, go inside and do some grocery shopping, and come back out to resume her place in line. When she came back outside, she found that the line twisted around the edge of the Safeway building and closer to the Walgreens. She lined up at the end of the line after briefly asking the staffer (again, I can’t recall if this is who she talked to) if she could still have her spot in line. My mother was supposed to be the very first person to meet Gabrielle but fate/luck/whatever-you-want-to-call-it placed her at the back of the line.

Gabrielle came out and the Jared Lee Loughner emerged and shot her, paused, and went down the line of people waiting to meet her like it was a shooting gallery. My mom hit the deck when she heard the shots and was not able to visually see anyone being shot, but she definitely could hear it. By the time the shooter got to my mother, he had shot the woman in front of her (who was lying down over her own daughter to protect her) in line three times, once in each arm and once in her back. To my knowledge, she miraculously survived and my father was one of the people who helped compress her gunshot wound to the back.

After shooting the woman above, in front of my mom, the shooter was tackled by at least one of the brave souls who restrained him. He fell down, I imagine face-forward (I’m not sure why I didn’t confirm this with my mother) and was struggling on the ground.

My mother began to plant her knees into the shooter’s ankles and performed a kind of joint lock that was pretty painful to him, to the point where she recalls him saying “ow” over and over.

at this pont, Loughner was still in possession of his weapon and people were shouting for someone to take his gun away. My mother was unable to grab the weapon, but she did notice he was pulling another clip out of his hoodie pockets. He dropped it and she immediately grabbed it, holding onto it for dear life. She eventually had someone else sit on his legs while she tended to wounded victims.

My father was somehow in the area and my mother was able to call him. He arrived before any police or medical personnel and helped tend to people.

I hope that I have been able to transcribe these events as best as possible, from my recollection of what my mother’s recollection was. I do not mean to exaggerate or materialize any information here, but simply post how I experienced it through my mother experiencing it. I understand that as details unfold that my recollection may or may not be entirely accurate and I hope no one sees this as a demonization of character of the Jared Lee Loughner, even though what acts he performed are those of a very sick and sad individual.

It is very possible that my mother was supposed to be one of the first people to be shot after Gabrielle Giffords. It is also very possible that she was the next person he would have shot. Personally, this has been a very, very strange day for me. I am so, so grateful that my mother is okay, but that isn’t the word for how I’m feeling. It is a real tragedy what happened, and it feels wrong to feel so fortunate in such a time of senseless violence.

I hope this helps some of you appreciate the time with your loved ones and that you may never endure anything like this yourselves. And if you do, you take the steps and risks these braves people did to do the right thing and stop any further violence.

[…]

My mother and father are just like anyone else’s. They are both in their early 60s, still work insanely hard in their own small business manual labor jobs (sorry, I’m being a bit ambiguous but I’d rather not lead the media to contacting them), and have no real first responder, medical, or combat training of which I know.

My father was in Vietnam as a draftee but he had never seen combat or a person with a bullet wound before. He is a very emotionally strong man and described the departed (that were still uncovered when he arrived) as “looking like they were sleeping.” I can’t imagine how surreal it was to see bodies and blood strewn about at 10AM on a bright, sunny day.

[…]

This is the satellite imagery of the location.

It is my understanding the Gabrielle Gifford’s table was very close to where the white delivery truck is parked vertically on the left side of the building. That building is the Safeway grocery store. If you follow the structure upwards, you will see it angles diagonally to the upper right. The very North part of that structure is the Walgreens where Joe Zamudio was located.

The organized line twisted back towards the diagonal bend before reaching the Walgreens. My mother was around that corner. It is my understanding that he went down the line shooting. Walking North along the side of the Safeway up near the bend before reaching the Walgreens. I hope this brings some clarity.  [Link]

Asked if the shooter yelled anything:

I don’t think so, or else my mother would have mentioned so. He just walked up, shot Gabrielle, paused, and started moving down the line. Perhaps he was waiting to be shot and then pursuing death even further by moving down the line. Perhaps he was just coming to terms with taking a human life. It’s really hard to say, but I hope investigators get to the bottom of this.

[…]

I don’t think my mother was aware of when he was tackled, but I can almost guarantee that the man who first tackled him (who was grazed by a bullet on the head) was full of adrenaline and had the upper hand, regardless of the amount of adrenaline Jared Lee Loughner had. I believe the suspect was walking down the line and shooting people, whereas this man must have charged him.

[…]

I believe this was my mother, but she had not been shot. She was the only one who gained possession of any other clips. It is unclear to me whether or not he had reloaded prior to being tackled, but the information is starting to point towards him emptying his first clip, loading a second and having the spring mechanism fail, being tackled, and trying to load a different clip, or perhaps reloading the same failed clip again. While he was on the ground and my mother was pinning his legs down, she was able to secure a loaded clip. She then notice one of the subduers was wounded, asked Joe Zamudio to take her place on Jared Lee Loughner’s legs (which she was pinning down), and ran inside the grocery store to get supplies to tend to the wounded subduer’s head.

[..]

Joe Zamudio was in fact carrying a weapon of his own and ran out of the Walgreens at the sound of gunfire to see what was happening. At this point, the gunman was already on the ground and struggling. My mother asked him to take her place sitting on his legs.

I am not aware of any other mention of a firearm. I believe I read or heard somewhere that there was only one distinctive sound of gunfire coming from Jared Lee Loughner’s Glock pistol.

[…]

I am glad to offer more direct information that further humanizes this event. All too often we hear of horrific stories on the news with easily-digestible key points and are not able to entirely empathize with the situation. I hope that by reading my mother’s account from my recollection, people will have a greater understanding of how to react in a situation like this and to honor the departed, injured, and the heroes.

[…]

It is such a bittersweet situation for me. I am eternally grateful that she was not taken from me yesterday, but I cannot feel only happiness, for so much tragedy came from those brief minutes. It is very stressful and confusing to me. Since I heard the news, I have been unable to fully come to terms with the sequences of events and how close my mother was to mortal danger.

I am so proud of my parents and, while I would have been deeply saddened to hear of either of their passings trying to prevent this act from happening, I believe in my heart that my parents selflessness and the selflessness of Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zimudie (inconsistencies among the media about the spelling of his name) are characteristics of which one should be extremely proud. I hate to imagine how differently things would have ended if these three did not act swiftly.

I’d like to believe that anyone capable would have acted similarly. This is a lesson we all can learn from.

[…]

I’m not sure I have the answers to those questions. My parents helped as much as possible until there were enough EMS on scene to handle the situation.

They were gathered with a group of other witnesses and held at the incident until they had been thoroughly interviewed. My mother was at the scene from 10AM and returned home around 4PM. My father was released earlier at around 1:30PM I believe, because he was not a witness to the acts themselves, but the aftermath pre-EMS/authorities.

I’m not aware of any immediate FBI presence on the scene, but that is not to say that they were not there interviewing. I’m not sure if any of the agents identified themselves to my mother, and I imagine if they did, she was already so overwhelmed with information and details that it would be difficult for her to recall.

The FBI and authorities did stop by the residence of my parents to administer a suspect identification, which my mother was unable to complete.

CNN Video of this hero mother, Patricia Maisch.