Man helps student shot in back during Highlands Ranch school shooting

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- A man who lives just a block away from STEM School Highlands Ranch jumped into action to help one of the students wounded in Tuesday afternoon's shooting.

Rocco DeChalk says he witnessed hundreds of students running from the school. For a brief moment, he thought it was part of a gym class.

However, he quickly realized they were running for their lives. That’s when he discovered a student nearby, suffering from a bullet wound in the back.

The student was right next to DeChalk’s mailbox.

“There was a young student there — probably between 12 and 15 years old. He was accompanied by another friend, who was applying pressure to his back where he was shot. And a teacher [was there],” DeChalk recalled.

The teacher had called the student’s parents, and DeChalk called 911.

“The first thing the 911 operator said was to find shelter. It was still an active shooting situation. They had not found the shooters,” he told FOX31.

DeChalk and the other uninjured student were able to get the victim into DeChalk’s home nearby.

“We brought him up the stairs and then into the kitchen, where five feet into the door, he just kind of sat down. He was winded.”

Once inside, he took a closer look at the wound.

“By the time we lifted up the shirt, the wound had already stopped bleeding. So you could see a small hole, about three inches from his armpit," DeChalk said.

Dispatch told him it could be a while before an ambulance came, so he took matters into his own hands.

“I ran outside and was able to track down a police officer right out from my house. He was able to track down an ambulance," DeChalk said.

With two school-aged kids of his own, the shooting hit close to home for the 50-year-old father.

“That’s all I could think. At that moment in time, these two young men just became my kids,” he said.

DeChalk has no idea of the student's condition — or even what his name is.

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