Prevention of First Aid Delivery
The shooting severly injured Woody with seven bullet wounds:
- 4 wounds to the right arm in the vicinity of the elbo
- 1 wound to the left arm
- 1 wound to the right side lower back
- 1 wound to the front right side of the abdomen
Immediately after the shooting, Dr. Woodring, a physician in the congregation who had witnessed the shooting, immediately came forward to attempt to provide first aid. Despite the fact that the shooting had shattered Woody's right elbo and injured his left arm, the police officers immediately forced him onto his stomach and handcuffed his hands behind his back. According to eyewitness Clifton Johnson's December 2 interview, Dr. Woodring advised the officers not to handcuff the victim.
|... I know it was a doctor went over to try to .... they were going to handcuff him first and she suggested they didn't do that ...|
Officer Parker described the handcuffing in his December 3 interview:
|I was going to hold both hands and we got the handcuffs on him and uh I was not able to, to ah cuff him myself I ah, his right arm had been shot and it was bleeding and appeared a number of wounds so it was very, it was a little bit slippery and stuff but we were able to get both arms into ah submission for the handcuffing.|
After the handcuffing, Dr. Wooding repeadly implored the officers to remove the handcuffs so that she could administer first aid. Her December 2nd interview recounts her repeated requests:
|I could see one in his flank area and so I needed to look at his front to see what because I thought he was I mean when I last looked he was facing the policemen so I was concerned about what was in the front, but I couldn't get him turned over because his hands were handcuffed and I kept asking the policemen, 'Please take the handcuffs off so I can turn him over' and they would not take the handcuffs off so I could see that both arms had been shot. I was trying to get the bleeding stopped. The nurse who had asked questions, she was there helping to. Neither of us would leave. We stayed and were tending to him. And so finally when the EMTs got there they finally convinced them that they had to get the handcuffs off.|
Officer Frechette's December 2nd report indicates that Woody was still on the floor of the church at 10:26, 12 minutes after the shooting:
|I arrived to the scene at 10:26 hours ... I assisted BFP Capt. Lynch bring in the stretcher into the church.|
In his statement, firefighter Shawn Hammond recalls that the handcuffs were not removed until after he brought the backboard into the church and set up the re-breather, and that they were able to control the bleeding once the hadcuffs were removed:
|The patient was lying on his side almost face down with handcuffs on. I noticed a large amount of blood underneath him. ... I was asked to go back to the ambulance to get a new oxygen cylinder and a back board. I then returned inside and set up the oxygen at 14 lpm by non re-breather. At that time Brian Patnoe requested the handcuffs removed to better treat and assess the patient. When they removed the handcuffs they placed the patient on the backboard ...|
|When we got most of the bleeding under control and Rescue Inc. had set up two IV lines we then straped patient to the backboard and loaded him on the stretcher.|
There is reason to believe that Woody may have lived had not the officers handcuffed him then refused to remove the handcuffs, based on the totality of the following observations.
- Eyewitnesses recalled that the rug became saturated with blood shortly after the shooting.
- Hemmoraging from the abdominal wound was probably the cause of death.
- Dr. Woodring could not access the abdominal wound to stop the blood loss from it until the handcuffs had been removed and Woody was rolled onto his back.
- Shawn Hammond's statement indicates that EMTs were able to control the bleeding after Woodward was rolled over.
- A timeline based on times in official reports, combined with a consideration of the series of actions performed by Hammond before he witnessed Brian Patno discussing the removal of handcuffs with an officer, indicates Woody continued to bleed uncontrollably for a considerable amount of time, probably more than 10 minutes.