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Hero intern who helped save Giffords will run for her seat

Daniel Hernandez Jr.
Posted at 1:12 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 16:12:13-04

PHOENIX (AP) — The intern hailed as a hero for helping save the life of then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords following an attempted assassination is running to represent her former district in Congress.

Daniel Hernandez Jr. was a 20-year-old college student in his first week interning for Giffords when a gunman opened fire at a constituent event killing six and injuring 13, including Giffords.

Hernandez kept the congresswoman conscious and applied pressure to her head wound until paramedics arrived.

"While interning for @GabbyGiffords, I was working at her meet and greet when she was shot," Hernandez said in a tweet. "Those nine minutes, between the first shots fired and the moment the first responders entered the scene, I ran to Gabby, kept her awake, and did what I could to take care of her."

The Associated Press reported that then-President Barack Obama praised his actions, calling him a hero at the victims' memorial. He also invited him as a guest at the State of the Union address.

He is currently a Democratic representative in the state House of Representatives.

I’m running for Congress to ensure Southern AZ continues to have leaders like @GabbyGiffords and @RepKirkpatrick," Hernandez tweeted. "We need someone who will shut up, listen, and get to work. I hope you will join me and contribute whatever you can today."

A trauma surgeon who operated on Giffords that day, Dr. Randy Friese, is also running, along with state Sen. Kirsten Engel.