VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — More than 150 people gathered Tuesday for a vigil outside the hospital where a Vancouver officer is recovering after being shot on Monday.
A vigil began at 8 p.m. on the front lawn of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for Officer Dustin Goudschaal.
Goudschaal, 32, was shot seven times following a traffic stop Monday. He is a six-year veteran with the force cited for his meritorious work.
Fellow officers, friends and many strangers were in attendance at the vigil Tuesday evening.
Former volunteer firefighter James Bridger, Jr. was one of the two good Samaritans who stopped to help Goudschaal shortly after he was shot.
“Just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It’s like the big guy was watching out for everybody,” said Bridger.
Bridger said he just happened to take a different route to his sister’s house in NE Vancouver on Monday when he came across the scene.
“I grabbed his mic off his vest, and he was helping me pull the plug out so I could talk. I called dispatch and let them know there was an officer shot. It was the scariest feeling waiting. I knew they’re coming, but he was fighting pretty hard,” said Bridger.
Bridger is on a short list of visitors who have been able to visit Goudschaal since he was admitted to the hospital.
“When I saw his face with the injuries it kind of stayed in my head, and so then I wanted to go see him to make sure he was OK,” said Bridger.