Law enforcement officers who were the first responders in last week’s San Bernardino mass shooting are now stepping forward to talk about what they saw, and felt, when they arrived at the bloody scene.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Det. George Lozano said he was just doing his job when he told a roomful of terrified office workers that he would “take a bullet” for them.
“I said what I said. I meant what I said,” Lozano said at a California news conference. He was reacting to seeing a woman and an 8-year-old boy who were so frightened they were “shivering like a leaf,” he said.
He shrugged off accolades that hailed him as a hero.
“That’s our job, to put ourselves in the line of danger to protect the community,” he said.
San Bernardino Police Officer Nicholas Koahou was shot in the leg as he chased after the husband-and-wife shooters Syed Farook and Tasheen Malik.
“Initially, when I went down, it felt like someone punched me in the leg,” he said.
“I looked down at my leg,” he described, and “I saw there was a bullet hole in it.”
Koahou said he remembers being confused because Farook’s body was in the street, but gunfire continued to come from the SUV he had been driving.
Then he realized that a rifle was being fired through the back window. Malik was still shooting.
Both suspects were killed in the shootout with officers.
Koahou, a former Marine, said his training taught him “You’re never out of the fight. You have to keep fighting.