Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Public safety

Nurses awarded for trying to save Pasco movie theater shooting victim

SPRING HILL — At first, he thought it was a warning shot.

Derek Friedhoff and his girlfriend, Jennie Manera, both nurses, went to the Cobb Grove 16 theater in Wesley Chapel on their day off, Jan. 13. Friedhoff said he remembers hearing bickering during the second preview before the movie Lone Survivor was supposed to start. He and Manera were a few seats away from where Curtis Reeves and Chad Oulson were having an exchange over texting. A shot sounded.

Then he saw Oulson collapse.

Friedhoff and Manera said they switched from day-off mode to the focus of a trauma room. Friedhoff said Reeves wasn't waving his gun or threatening anyone, so he figured it was safe to approach.

Friedhoff, 25, took off his shirt and pressed it against Oulson's entry wound.

Manera, 38, checked for a pulse. In 911 tapes, she can be heard saying Oulson's pulse was slow.

"We can't find it," she told the operator. "It's very weak."

Friedhoff started chest compressions and asked for a light to shine in Oulson's pupils. Oulson, 43, didn't respond. He later died at a hospital. Reeves, a 71-year-old retired Tampa police captain, faces a charge of second-degree murder.

For their actions that day, Friedhoff and Manera were honored with the Pasco Sheriff's Office's Special Service Award on Wednesday at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School as part of the agency's quarterly awards ceremony.

Friedhoff was in a cream-colored suit and Manera wore a black dress as they walked to the front of the school's auditorium to applause after their names were called. They were given plaques commending them for bravery and quick response amid a potentially life-threatening situation.

"It's on those worst of times when you see the best in people," Sheriff Chris Nocco said, "and they stood up."

Friedhoff thanked local hospitals and the Sheriff's Office.

"It was more instinct," Friedhoff said after the ceremony.

He and Manera have worked before on victims of gunshots and car wrecks. Both said they've tended to minor cuts and bruises while off duty, but never anything as severe as what happened that day. Friedhoff said he likes to think any other nurse would have done the same.

Friedhoff works at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. Manera is a nurse at Florida Hospital Tampa. They've been dating two years and met while working at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Neither went much into detail about the specifics of the altercation between Reeves and Oulson before the shooting. Friedhoff called the whole thing a terrible loss for both families.

Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

     
Comments
He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

TAMPA — Dwight DuBose walked out of the Orient Road Jail on Tuesday night after trading an orange jumpsuit for a brand new polo shirt and slacks.It was about 9 p.m. He flashed a broad smile and hug staff members of the Innocence Project of Florida wh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 7 hours ago
He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

TAMPA — Police are looking for a man who failed to rob two pharmacies last week.No one was harmed during the botched heists, but the man may be armed with a handgun, police said.Detectives on Tuesday released surveillance video that showed the man in...
Published: 04/24/18
FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

TAMPA — A 41-year-old motorcyclist was critically injured in a Monday night crash on Interstate 4, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 7:15 p.m. Cristobal Padilla, of Riverview, was riding a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle in...
Published: 04/24/18
St. Pete police identify man wanted for stealing car — and baby

St. Pete police identify man wanted for stealing car — and baby

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are searching for a 19-year-old man accused of stealing a car left running with an 8-month-old baby left in the back on Monday.The baby was found unharmed by two WFLA-Ch. 8 journalists a short time later, according to St. Pete...
Published: 04/24/18
A Sarasota girl nearly dies after accidentally ingesting pool water

A Sarasota girl nearly dies after accidentally ingesting pool water

It started off like a regular pool day at her grandparent’s home. Elianna Grace, 4, and other kids were having fun, blowing water out of pool noodles at each other.Then, as Elianna was blowing water out one end of the noodle, someone else accidentall...
Published: 04/24/18
Buckhorn urged to name woman as fire chief in wake of discrimination suit

Buckhorn urged to name woman as fire chief in wake of discrimination suit

TAMPA — In the wake of a female firefighter’s victory against the city in a discrimination lawsuit, Mayor Bob Buckhorn is being urged to name a high-ranking woman to replace retiring fire Chief Tom Forward.Earlier this month, Buckhorn said he will na...
Published: 04/24/18
Tampa man faces murder charge in September slaying

Tampa man faces murder charge in September slaying

TAMPA — A 68-year-old Tampa man faces a charge of first-degree murder following his arrest Monday in the September death of an Osceola County woman.Evidence from the crime scene led officers to James Jackson, police said.According to police, the body...
Published: 04/24/18
Florida man said sex addiction caused him to attack two women

Florida man said sex addiction caused him to attack two women

CORAL SPRINGS — Police say a security guard arrested in connection with two attacks on women in a Florida neighborhood has told investigators he has a problem. The police report on the Sunday arrest of 25-year-old Dante M. Collins says he admitted tr...
Published: 04/24/18