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At 9:30 a.m. on his very first delivery of the morning, mail carrier Scott Gallegos was approached by a woman near Madison Avenue in Carmichael. He heard a knock on the window of his truck. She was covered in blood.

“She had been shot, she started to fade out, I sat her down,” Gallegos said. “I saw a wound on her. I laid her down.”

But then, to his surprise, he said more shots were fired.

Gallegos, who has been a mail carrier for only four weeks, got between the woman and the alleged shooter.

“When you see something like that, instinct takes over,” he said. “You just do what you have to do.”

Without thinking, the Iraq War Army veteran pulled his truck in front of her to protect her. Then he put pressure on her wounds and coordinated with deputies on scene to carry her to safety.

Just a day later, and Gallegos is already laughing at his decision to stand up to an alleged shooting suspect who got into a five-hour standoff with law enforcement. He said the decision he made doesn’t make any sense.

His wife, Tracy, remembers getting a call at home and immediately turning on the TV.

“Unbelievable to know that he risked his life for a stranger. Somebody that meant nothing to him,” she said.

At his house, his nickname is now “Hero” and his daughter already has a tattoo of an envelope and Monday’s date.

“I was brave for about 25 minutes,” Gallegos said. “Those police officers who handled that, those are the guys who are the real heroes.”