Daniel Hernandez with
Gabrielle Giffords

Daniel Hernandez, an intern for US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has been lauded for helping to save her life.

Giffords, who has been described as a friend of the gay community, was shot in the head by a gunman at a meet-and-greet event at a supermarket in Tucson on Saturday.

The openly gay Hernandez held up the Arizona congresswoman’s head to ensure that she could breath while waiting for paramedics.

“I kind of just shut off all emotion because I knew I wouldn’t be any good to anyone if I had a breakdown,” Hernendez told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour. “I had to lift up the congresswoman because she was severely injured, and I wanted to make sure that she was able to breathe okay because there was so much blood.”

He also tried to stop the bleeding from her forehead with his hand and later with smocks from the supermarket.

“The congresswoman was alert. She was able to hold my hand when I asked her if she could hear me,” said Hernendez, who is also a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.

Twenty two year old Jared Lee Loughner has been arrested for the attack in which he allegedly shot nineteen other people in addition to Giffords, six of them fatally.

Giffords, who is believed to have been Loughner’s primary target, is said to be responding well to treatment but remains in a critical condition.

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