If hands held guns that spilled blood, recognize and remember other hands, too. They reached out, at a critical and chaotic moment, to stop the flow of blood from a man’s body.
A school district police officer said on Sunday that yes, he was the one applying pressure to the wound of a shooting victim near the football field at Palm Beach Central High School.
No, he did not wish to comment on his role.
“Didn’t do anything that another officer or first responder wouldn’t have done in that situation,” said Detective Louis Bartolomeo, 61.
In photographs by The Palm Beach Post, an officer’s hands can be seen applying pressure to the victim’s lower back until paramedics could arrive Friday night. A medical helicopter landed on the field.
Reached by email, Bartolomeo said he was that officer. He is 61, “although I feel like I’m 21.” Yes, he joined the school district police in 2005, he said.
But he resisted efforts to direct any attention to him individually.
“That’s it as far as giving any info,” he said.
The shooting outside the stadium entrance Friday night sent spectators into a panicked rush to flee, and authorities are seeking two suspects.
By Saturday, family fiends said Daniel Foster Sr., the 39-year-old father of Dwyer high school senior Daniel Foster Jr., was in stable condition from a gunshot wound to his torso. School officials say the two have never had a relationship.
Authorities had not formally identified him or the other victim, a 29-year-old male in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.
Authorities on Saturday characterized it as a community-based incident that happened to take place at or near a school, not a “school shooting” in the sense of so many recent headline cases.
“The people that were involved in the shooting were looking for these two individuals,” Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a news conference Saturday. “Now, they had some information that they very well might be at the football game but they could have been at a bowling alley.”
The response represented a combined effort from the school district police, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies.
State Rep. Matt Willhite, a former Wellington councilman, said about 200 deputies were involved in the response, though sheriff’s officials did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for comment on the resources deployed. Neither did school police officials.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers responded from at least four troops, to assist with clearing the school of any shooters, traffic control, escorting buses and other operations.
“The response is to be applauded,” Deborah Cirincione, parent of a Palm Beach Central student who attended the game, said later. “It needs to be said. “