Shooting victim hailed by wife as hero

Published: Jan. 15, 2011 at 2:12 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:29 PM MST
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By Teresa Jun - email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Ken and Carol Dorushka visited the Safeway store last weekend to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and thank her for the efforts taken to promote solar energy power. The day would forever change their lives.

The couple had just arrived around 10:00am and signed up to meet Rep. Giffords. They were waiting patiently, eighth in line, when the gunshots began.

"I thought it was firecrackers," Ken Dorushka said. "But then I saw the shooter standing there, pointing the gun, and coming our way."

That's when Ken did the first thing that came to mind -- protect his wife.

"I threw her to the ground," he said. "I got on top of her, and put my arm over the back of her head."

"I just kept saying, 'let's run, let's run,' but Ken kept me down real tight and said to stay down," Carol said.

As the suspected gunman, Jared Loughner, fired bullet after bullet, Ken was hit in the arm. The bullet tore through his forearm -- the very arm he was using to protect his wife's head.

"If he hadn't been there, I don't know what would have happened to me," Carol said. "He took the bullet for me."

The couple have been married more than four decades, and Ken says his instinct and duty were to keep his wife safe.

"Our marriage has been 41 years in the making, and I wasn't about to let her go now," Ken said.

Carol says there are no words to convey her reaction, but she vows to repay the love and gratitude everyday.

"No more complaining from me when he's watching football all the time," Carol laughed. "He gets a free pass to watch football, basketball, anything."

Ken was treated at St. Mary's Hospital in the aftermath of the shooting, and released later that day.

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