An emergency room nurse saved the life of a father who was shot in the head in Humboldt Park in Chicago. Ivan Escobar, who was offduty at the time, used the first thing he could find to apply pressure to the gunshot wound: a teddy bear.
The shooting occurred in the 3800-block of West Grand Avenue. Escobar, who was driving home from a family party with his 13-year-old son, said he got out of his car after he heard gunfire and a woman screaming. "I think it was hearing the wife screaming and seeing her with a daughter and no one going up to the car and helping," he said, adding that he’d seen shootings and drive-bys before but had never been this close.
The shooting, which happened last Saturday night, injured a 44-year-old man who was driving with his wife and 3-year-old daughter when he was hit in the face by a stray bullet, according to a police report.
"I see the guy is bleeding, so I grab the teddy bear that was there, and I placed it on his forehead to help stop the bleeding," said Escobar, who stayed with the victim until the paramedics arrived. The man remained conscious despite being shot between the eyes. He was to answer questions, move his arms and legs, and even take his wallet out of his back pocket when emergency responders asked for an ID. He was also able to squeeze Escobar’s hand.
Escobar, who works as an emergency room nurse at Saint Anthony Hospital in Lawndale, said he simply did his job. "I don't consider myself a hero," he said. "I just felt like a person, like I think we should all just help each other."
The wounded man, who was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, is stable and expected to survive. Escobar said he would like to meet the man one day. Police are currently searching for suspects. There doesn’t appear to be a motive for the shooting considering the man has no known gang affiliations, according to police.
Such a sad detail in this story by @mariecfazio @RosemarySobol1: "An emergency room nurse, Escobar said he went into 'automatic mode' and grabbed the closest thing he could find to press on the wound. A teddy bear lying on the front seat." https://t.co/6mYXJltDTK— Madeline Buckley (@Mabuckley88) October 3, 2019
A construction worker from the West Side of Chicago, the man was headed downtown to drop off his wife to celebrate her birthday with friends. Then, he planned to take his 3-year-old daughter to a princess-themed party.
This summer, Chicago witnessed the worst weekend of gun violence in 2019. On the first weekend of August, seven people were killed and 52 wounded by gunfire throughout the city, including a 5-year-old boy who was shot in the leg while sitting in a car. There were 32 separate shooting incidents throughout the weekend, the police said.