Lifeguards at a Eugene, Ore. aquatics facility were among the first to tend to the wounded in the aftermath of a shooting.
It was an eerie turn of events, as the team of lifeguards had been featured in AI’s 2015 Best of Aquatics issue for its lifelike training scenarios designed to prepare staff members how to react in the event of a shooting.
On Tuesday, April 12, lifeguards at the River Road Park and Recreation District, along with local emergency responders, lent assistance to victims who were gunned down at Emerald Park on outskirts Eugene, Ore.
The incident occurred not at a pool but an adjacent park where a gunman opened fire on two men who were taken to a hospital and treated for gunshot wounds. One 29-year-old man was later pronounced dead and the other, a 21 year old, was in stable condition, according to a police report.
The suspect, identified as Orlando Centeno, 31, was later found deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a nearby residence.
Witnesses said the suspect confronted a group of people at the park. An argument ensued and Centeno began firing, they said. According to a police report, Centeno had been involved in disputes with park patrons in the past.
The investigation is ongoing.
The River Road lifeguard staff was selected as a Best of Aquatics winner last year because of its realistic emergency drills that included fake gunshot wounds and timed challenges that involved escorting patrons to safety. In the article, Jeff Fryer, aquatic/fitness director, was quoted as saying: "I would rather have my staff experience something as real as possible in a training session first, as opposed to experiencing it for real the first time."
River Road officials opted not to comment at this time.