Houston, TX – An off-duty Houston firefighter was at the right place, at the right time when a man was shot in the head on Facebook live early Sunday morning.
“I was at an event, I started seeing people run towards a vehicle in a gas station parking lot,” Martin said. “I walked over there and checked it out, and sure enough, he was laying in the car slumped over.”
Martin said his Houston Fire Department training kicked in and he did what he would do on the job.
He said he asked for help getting Holmes out of the car to perform CPR on him.
Martin said Steven Boone helped pulled Holmes out of the car, and then Martin started chest compressions.
“I was just waiting to hear the sirens. Praying to hear the sirens,” the firefighter told KTRK.
“I couldn’t find a pulse… I got on my knees and just started pressing on his chest, just doing the metronome beat in my head… then I felt his chest rise… I heard him making a grunting sound… He was breathing but he was still unconscious,” Martin said.
“I just went for what I knew… I stopped and checked for his pulse again and sure enough his heart was pumping like a marathon runner,” he said.
When an ambulance arrived, Martin said he wanted to keep helping, but that the fire captain on duty told him they had it handled. So he stayed behind to wait and give a statement to police, he told KTRK.
He was very emotional in the aftermath, and said his department had provided counseling resources for him while he was at work the next day.
“Off duty, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Martin said.
He said he’s heard from friends and family of Holmes, and that it has helped a lot.
“I heard he’s breathing on his own right now, and it’s an amazing feeling,” Martin said.
Unfortunately, the woman who shot Holmes, Cassandra Damper, was a friend of the firefighter.
“I know the young lady who was actually in the car with him… I know she’s a good person. I know it was an accident… I know deep down inside she’s a really good person, Martin told KTRK.
He said he hasn’t watched the Facebook video that Holmes, Damper, and Cadillac Coleman were recording inside a car outside a gas station when the shooting occurred. It’s graphic, and Martin said he doesn’t want those images in his head because he saw enough that night.
The footage briefly cut out, and a handgun could clearly be seen resting on the center console after the video resumed.
“Lyin’ a** hoe,” Damper said, possibly to someone who had tuned into the live video stream.
She then reached over and picked up the handgun, with her finger on the trigger.
“You see what we doin’ to lyin’ a** hoes?” she said, as she pointed the weapon at the camera. “We draw down.”
Simultaneously, Holmes reached over with his left hand, covered the weapon’s slide, and momentarily appeared to try to take the gun from Damper.
“Hey man,” he said to her. “You’re making me nervous.”
“We draw down on them hoes!” Damper yelled, as Holmes let go of the weapon.
“She ain’t got no clip, bud,” Coleman told Holmes, while Damper racked the slide, which had a loaded round in the chamber. She then raised the weapon towards Holmes.
In an instant, she pulled the trigger, and Holmes’ head fell to the side.
Damper gasped, and set the gun back on the console while she and Coleman jumped out of the vehicle.
Blood poured from Holmes’ head, spilling onto his shirt and arm. His unblinking eyes remained fixed, as his body fell lifeless.
Initially, Damper told police Holmes had shot himself. But the video was already being widely circulated, and officers were quickly directed to the evidence that showed them what, exactly, happened inside the car when Holmes was shot.
Damper was charged with tampering with evidence, after she attempted to clean her hands before police could perform a gun residue test on her.