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Man staggers into McDonald's after Vallejo shooting

May 20, 2011 12:51:24 PM PDT
Two men were traveling on I-780 outside Vallejo last night when the driver of a passing vehicle opened fire on them. The victims managed to drive a few miles before finding help at a McDonald's.

The McDonald's is located at East Second Street in Benicia where the wounded driver managed to park his vehicle, walk inside and collapse. He and his passenger had no idea at the time that this McDonald's had a nursing student working who, along with the shift manager, would combine to help save his life.

About 8 p.m. Thursday a white Buick pulled up in front of McDonald's. A passenger opened the driver's door and help shooting victim 19-year-old Arturo Venegas across the parking lot. Venegas collapsed on the floor in front of dozens of stunned customers.

"All of a sudden I heard somebody in the lobby scream - 'ohh my god he is shot!' And that is when I turned around and there is this guy holding his friend and his friend has blood all over the side of him. The first thing I did is I grabbed the phone and I dialed 911. I grabbed one of my other employees and told him to stay on the phone with the police and that is when I ran to the back and I got Phil," said McDonald's shift manager Kathryn Smith.

Phil is Phil Clarkson, who serves up fast food by night, but by day, is learning how to serve up life saving techniques.

"He's a medical assistant. He is actually going to school right now to become a nurse. So he knew exactly what he was doing. He was able to help the guy out until the ambulance got here," said Smith.

All of this the result of what happened on I-780 just minutes before. The CHP said a light blue pickup truck pulled up alongside Venegas's Buick and a man described as light skinned male with black hair in a pony tail opened fire. The CHP said for the next four miles, passenger Daniel Rodriguez, 20, of Benicia, helped steer the vehicle as driver Venegas went in and out of consciousness.

The CHP said this was not a random shooting.

"Our initial investigation leads us to believe that this was a targeted incident. We also want to remind people that millions of highway miles are traveled throughout California each year in which freeway shootings rarely ever occur. So this isn't a need for panic," said CHP Sgt. Trent Cross.

The shooting victim is in stable condition. The passenger was not hurt.

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