Shooting victim found in Baylands Triangle
Menlo Park Fire District Firefighters responded to a reported shooting incident at 11:38 am Monday morning (March 8, 2021) in an area known as the “Baylands Triangle,” which covers about 60 acres of open nature preserve located at the edge of East Palo Alto along University Avenue, Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road near Facebook’s Menlo Park hHeadquarters. A caller told Menlo Park Police Dispatchers that “someone was shot” near West Bound Highway 84 at University Avenue.
Menlo Park Police Officers arrived on-scene first, finding a single male victim with a gun-shot to his left thigh, officers quickly applied a tourniquet on the man’s leg and moved him from a homeless encampment, closer to an abandoned rail line where they started chest compressions because he wasn’t breathing.
Captain Scott Blandford on Menlo Engine 2 arrived on-scene with his crew at 11:42 am and by 11:43 am was advised by Menlo PD that the scene was secure. They parked on University Avenue at the abandoned Dumbarton Rail Line, using the elevated rail bed to travel to the encampment and patient, who was located about 500 feet from the roadway.
Firefighter/Paramedics immediately took over patient care and moved the victim onto the flat elevated rail bed, quickly performing a “strip and flip”, a maneuver where all of the patients clothing are cut off and he is rolled over to find any additional entry, or exit, bullet wounds. The patient had suffered significant blood loss from a single entry wound into his thigh, they suspected a broken femur as well. Two IV fluid bags were started to try and compensate for the massive blood loss, he was also in cardiac arrest. CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) along with a defibrillator were used to monitor his heart and try to save his life.
Additional Firefighters arrived on Rescue 77 at 11:44 am, who then assisted Engine 2 personnel and an American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance personnel that arrived at 11:53 am. Together, they quickly scooped up the patient, placed him on a mobile gurney and then into the back of the awaiting transport ambulance (Medic Unit 51) at 12:07 pm. Two Firefighter/Paramedics accompanied the AMR Transport Ambulance personnel to Stanford’s Emergency Trauma Center to maintain the highest level of patient care. The Ambulance arrived at Stanford Hospital at 12:24 pm, where an Emergency Room Trauma Team jumped into action.
Commented Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman: “We recently made some significant progress in having Caltrans and the State bring in a contractor to remove a number of the encampments on the north side of the Triangle near Willow Road. They filled multiple 50 yard dumpsters with debris, filled in dangerous trenches that had been dug along with latrine pits, some as deep as 10 – 12 feet below the surface of the ground.
“A number of the people living out here have been assisted by the City, County, LifeMoves and We Hope and other volunteer organizations along with several religious organizations. Others simply moved elsewhere until they can move back. We’ve been working on this for years now, it”s not an easy problem to solve.
“This particular grouping of encampments on the South side is on land owned by SAMTRANS (responsible for the Dumbarton Rail Line and a 50 foot easement on each side of the track). We’ll be in touch with them to have these encampments removed as well.
“Sadly, violence like shootings, stabbings, drug overdoses and fires have all dramatically increased to unacceptable levels over the last few years and that has been exacerbated because of out of touch State policies that somehow presume that local firefighters and police officers wouldn’t be touching people because of COVID, clearly that isn’t the case and never has been when a life hangs in the balance, no matter who you are!”
Photo courtesy of Menlo Fire