Deputy Jim Slikker
Saved the Life of a 12 Year Old Gunshot Victim



On July 18th 1997, an accidental shooting takes place and Stop Our Shootings begins.

Though Shanelle had to eat with a straw for months, eventually she got stronger, and she began going to schools and teaching children about the real dangers of guns -- that children must tell their parents to lock up their guns. Shanelle's father, John Johannessen -- and many other adults who watched Shanelle's speaches to students -- saw the amazing changes she was making in the students' attitudes.   (Read their responses under Educate Our Children). Stop Our Shootings was formed to prevent other parents from having to ever hear those terrible words: "Your child's been shot!"

Shanelle's survival showed us how we can make a difference by teaching other children about the real dangers of playing with guns.

On July 18, 1997, Deputy Slikker was dispatched to the scene of an accidental shooting in the community of Rancho Santa Margarita. Upon arrival, he found a 12 year old girl covered in blood, lying on the bed in the master bedroom. She had been accidentally shot in the neck by a friend who was playing with a large caliber gun. Deputy Slikker immediately rendered assistance to the child by applying direct pressure to both sides of her neck with his hands in order to cover the gaping wound she suffered from the gunshot.

During the time it took for the fire units to arrive, he spoke to the victim and her hysterical girlfriend in a calm and calculating manner. Deputy Slikker was successful in stopping the profuse bleeding and continued to turn the child's head to the side allowing the blood to exit her mouth to alleviate choking. When paramedics arrived, he continued applying direct pressure to her wounds while they administered an I-V and stabilized her vital signs.

During the incident, the young girl looked directly into the deputy's eyes and asked, "Am I going to die?" This may have shaken even the most experienced veteran. Deputy Slikker, however, kept his cool and calmly told she would be fine and instructed her to keep breathing slowly and remain calm.

Paramedics later stated Deputy Slikker's fast response time and quick and decisive actions were the major reasons she survived. He most assuredly saved her from bleeding to death.

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