Heroes of Tucson Tragedy Stopped the Shooting

Patricia Maisch, Bill Badger and Joe Zamudio (clockwise from top) are credited with subduing alleged Tucson shooter Jared Loughner. From the CBS Evening News, Jan. 10, 2011.
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TUCSON, Ariz. - CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports we may never know why the shooting started, but it ended because Bill Badger, Joe Zamudio and Patricia Maisch saw a chance and took it.

With the gun aimed at his head, Badger, a 74-year-old retired army colonel, made a lucky move.

Badger indicates the back of his head, saying, "I turned my head[…]and the bullet went right though, right above my ears right above here." He points across the back of his head.

Complete Coverage: Tragedy in Tucson

The gunman turned to Patricia Maisch. "I was really expecting to be shot," she says. "And just then the gunfire stopped and two men jumped on him."

One of those men was Badger, wounded and bleeding. "I got him by the throat," he says. "The other guy has him on his knee right on the back of his neck."

The gunman was down but trying to reload his 9mm handgun. "So I grabbed the magazine before he could and held onto it," says Maisch.

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Joe Zamudio was buying a pack of cigarettes nearby when the first shots were fired. "I ran out the doors and there is a man running and he says, 'Shooter. Shooter. Get down,'" says Zamudio.

John Blackstone: "You heard the shots and you went running toward the shots?"

Zamudio: "I know. That's pretty crazy, huh?"

He helped hold the struggling gunman. There were other heroes even before the shooting stopped.

76-year-old Dorwan Stoddard died trying to shield his wife Mavy. Rep. Giffords' life may have been saved by Daniel Hernandez, a student intern on her staff who used his high school training in emergency medicine to slow her bleeding.

"My first instinct was to run to where the congresswoman would be," says Hernandez.

Heroic acts, but those who acted all point to someone else.

"I'm not a hero," says Maisch.

The rest of us know a hero when we see one and there were plenty of heroes here.

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.