AUBURN, CA (KTXL/CNN) - A California third grader was honored after officers say her bravery and focus may have saved her father’s life when he was hit in the chest during a shooting spree.
Sheriff Devon Bell presented 8-year-old Isabell Pierce with a medal of merit Monday for doing something most kids her age have never done: help save her father’s life by applying pressure to a bullet wound.
When Isabell and her father, Brian Pierce, were driving Jan. 15, they suddenly heard a loud sound. Someone had shot out the driver’s side window, and the bullet hit Isabell’s dad in the chest.
"Isabell absolutely remained calm and composed during the entire incident. She said she needed to focus to keep her dad alive,” Bell said.
The 8-year-old’s focus and quick-thinking did indeed help save her father’s life, according to the sheriff.
"Brian grabbed his sweatband and placed it over the wound on his chest. Isabell quickly used her hands to hold that sweatband in place over Brian’s wound,” Bell said. “Brian drove to a fire station ... where he received medical aid. Isabell was able to keep pressure on the wound the entire drive.”
Weeks later, Pierce is recovering from his gunshot wound and celebrating his daughter’s bravery.
"I can’t imagine, at 8 years old, having the composure to know to apply direct pressure onto a wound so that she can take care of her dad, so he could get to the fire station and get advanced medical care. Just amazing,” Bell said.
As for Isabell, who has five siblings, she says she’s getting some newfound recognition.
"Usually, my teachers would say, ‘You’re Emily’s little sister, right?’ But now, to Emily, they’re like, ‘You’re Isabell’s older sister, right?’ So, now, they actually know who I am, I guess,” she said.
Investigators identified the suspected shooter as 48-year-old Stanley Stepanski, who had, moments earlier, allegedly shot and killed an elderly woman in her home.
Stepanski also shot at businesses, homes and other vehicles, police say, before he was fatally shot by an officer with the Roseville Police Department.