‘There was a lot of blood’: Cleveland officers save 10-year-old shooting victim

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CLEVELAND - As police officers rolled up on yet another shooting scene in the city, they instantly noticed this one was different.

A 10-year-old boy was lying on the ground. He was alive, but bleeding from a gunshot wound.

Officer Chris Heater, whose been a Cleveland officer less than two years, knelt over the boy.

"There was a T-shirt next to him," Officer Heater said, "so I took the T-shirt and used that to attempt to stop the bleeding."

The boy had been riding in the car with 30-year-old Donte Padgett, Sr., who was shot and killed when a man came up to the car and just opened fire. Police said the boy was not the intended victim, but they do not believe the shooting was a random act.

A crowd quickly gathered around, as Officer Heater tried to control the bleeding from the boy.

"There was a lot of blood," said Sgt. Kyle Stouges, a 19-year veteran of the force.

Sgt. Stouges then remembered that, just days before, his fourth district officers had been issued new first aid kits.

The Cleveland Division of Police stress its officers have rendered aid many times in many situations over the years. But since the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland officer over a year ago, the division started equipping all patrol cars with new first aid kits and that may have made the difference here.

"I ran to the trunk of my car, ripped off the kit, and brought it to Officer Heater," Sgt. Stouges said.

The kits contain what's known as QuikClot, patches that can help control bleeding quickly. With Officer Heater following the instructions of an officer whose been recently trained in using the kits, he applied the QuikClot.

The boy appeared to be fading off until then.

"It alerted him, and brought him a little more into consciousness when we administered it," Sgt. Stouges said. In fact, he calls Officer Heater's actions "life-saving."

"What I did is what any police officer, any Cleveland officer, would do in that situation," Officer Heater said.

The boy was in stable condition on Thursday.

So far, no suspects have been arrested.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Cleveland police.