Nurses who helped Pasco theater shooting victim speak out - WFLA News Channel 8

Nurses who helped Pasco theater shooting victim speak out

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Derek Friedhoff, 25, and his girlfriend, Jennie Manera, 38, helped theater shooting victim Chad Oulson. Derek Friedhoff, 25, and his girlfriend, Jennie Manera, 38, helped theater shooting victim Chad Oulson.

Two registered nurses who rushed to help Pasco theater shooting victim Chad Oulson are telling their stories for the first time.

On Wednesday, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office honored Derek Friedhoff, 25, and his girlfriend, Jennie Manera, 38, with the civilian special service award.

The couple went to see a movie at the Cobb Cinebistro in Wesley Chapel on January 13th. They were in one of the auditoriums when they heard gunfire.

"When I saw the person collapse, that's when I assessed the scene and decided it was safe enough to provide care to the victim," said Friedhoff, who performed CPR on shooting victim Chad Oulson.

Manera echoed Friedhoff's comments.

"It's kind of a trauma experience," said Manera.

"But we came from a trauma hospital before. So, we were trained for it."

Despite their quick efforts, Oulson died from his injuries.

Friedhoff says he knew Oulson's injuries were severe.

"I always try to have the best expectations. I always, you know, try to hope for the best," said Friedhoff.

"But once I saw the entry wound and the location of where the bullet entered his body, I knew he was in dire need of medical attention. "

Investigators say retired Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, shot and killed Oulson after an argument about texting.

Friedhoff and Manera say it's still hard to believe they were involved in such a tragic incident.

"More in the lines of disbelief, more in the lines of we're a part of something like that. That actually happened," said Friedhoff. "You see it on the news, but you never think it's going to happen to you. You're just there to see a movie."

The couple met when they worked at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Now, Friedhoff works as an RN at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. Manera works as a nurse at Florida Hospital in Tampa.

Reeves is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Oulson. He is being held without bond in the Pasco County Jail. His next court date is scheduled for July 9th.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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