Government / Politics

Hollister Police officer commended for actions at Chevron shooting

Officer Carlos Rodriguez administered emergency medical care in aftermath of shooting

During the hectic aftermath of a multiple shooting incident at the Chevron gas station on San Felipe Road during the Fourth of July weekend, Hollister Police officer Carlos Rodriguez provided and coordinated medical care for injured motorcyclists, actions that Police Chief David Westrick said exemplified "the high standards and values" of the department. For his actions immediately after the July 6 shooting, Rodriguez received a commendation at the Aug. 4 Hollister City Council meeting.

Westrick read the commendation to Rodriguez and the council, recapping how a coincidental meeting of two rival motorcyle groups turned violent, leaving several members of one group wounded at the station.

Detective Seargent Dan Winn, who was near the area and heard the shots, "described a chaotic scene over the radio as vehicles sped away and several shots were being fired," Westrick's commendation said. Rodriguez coordinated with other responding officers to position their patrol vehicles to "afford some type of cover prior to entering an unknown scene." He retrieved his department rifle and his first aid kit and entered the scene on foot.

Westrick recalled how Rodriguez, "despite the still chaotic scene and not knowing if there were any other shooters present," applied an occlusive dressing to a biker with a gunshot wound to his left chest and tied a tourniquet to the man's left arm to stop the bleeding. Rodriguez then noticed another man who had been shot in the chest, applied dressing to the wound, and elevated the man's legs to prevent him from going into shock.

"You asked other members of the group who had been standing around in the area to continue elevating the man's legs as you went back to check on the first man," Westrick's commendation said. "You then monitored both subjects until fire and medics entered the scene and began to further treat both victims."

"Your immediate medical attention to these individuals in the absence of any other first aid may have contributed to saving their lives," Westrick said. At the end of his presentation in the City Hall chambers, Westrick gave Rodriguez a "challenge coin" meant to exemplify the extraordinary actions taken by the officer.

"I really appreciate it," Rodriguez said upon receiving the commendation. "It was extremely tragic. I'm just glad I was able to help and that nobody lost their lives."

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.