PLACER COUNTY — A Placer Elementary School third-grader was given a medal of merit for quick thinking that saved her dad’s life.
Isabell Pierce’s father, Brian, was a random victim during a chaotic shooting spree on Jan. 15.
They were driving down Rock Springs Road in the quiet community of Newcastle when they heard a loud noise. Not only had suspected shooter Stanley Stepanski III shoot out the driver’s side window, but the bullet had hit Brian in the chest.
“Isabell absolutely remained calm and composed during the entire incident,” Placer County Sheriff Devon Bell said. “She said she needed to focus to keep her dad alive.”
Bell says Brian grabbed a sweatband and Isabell held it in place over the wound.
“Brian drove to a fire station in Loomis where he received medical aid. Isabell was able to keep pressure on the wound the entire drive,” Bell said.
Investigators say Stepanski shot and killed an elderly woman at her doorstep moments before Brian was shot. The sheriff’s office says Stepanski shot at other vehicles, homes and businesses before he was killed in a gunbattle with a Roseville police officer.
Weeks later, Brian is recovering from his gunshot wound and celebrating his daughter’s bravery.
“I can’t imagine, at 8 years old, having the composure to know to apply direct pressure onto a wound so that she could take care of her dad so he could get to the fire station and get advanced medical care. Just amazing,” the sheriff said.
As for Isabell, who has five siblings, she says she’s getting some newfound recognition.
“Usually my teachers would say, ‘You’re Emily’s litter sister, right?'” Isabell said. “But now people are, like, to Emily they’re like, ‘You’re Isabell’s older sister, right?’ So now they actually know who I am, I guess.”
Another medal recipient was the Best Buy security guard who was fired after he tackled a suspected burglar and helped deputies take the man into custody.