Video of Spc. Stephen Tschiderer, the medic stationed in Baghdad who survived being shot in the chest by a sniper only to turn around and treat his would-be assassin’s wounds.
“It’s not a big deal that I got shot,” he said, “I’m a Soldier, and Soldiers get shot every day.”
Tschiderer, a Mendon, N.Y., native, and his fellow Soldiers from E Troop, 101st Cavalry, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, pursued the sniper for 90 minutes following the July 2 incident. When they caught him, his injuries included a compound fracture to his tibia, a gunshot wound to the buttock, and the tip of a toe was shot off. Tschiderer, a medic for his platoon, sprang into action.
“He was hurt and I had to do my job,” he said.
Tschiderer said the real success of the day revolved around capturing the sniper, given that it rarely happens.
“When we found him, I felt overjoyed,” he said. “I couldn’t believe we actually caught the guy. This stuff happens every day in this country”you get shot at, but you rarely see the person who pulls the trigger.”
The Soldiers completed the search without locating the sniper and made their way back to their vehicles. As Tschiderer relayed their status over the radio, he turned slightly to the left and felt a stinging sensation in his chest. He fell flat on his back, and, as if he landed on a spring, was back on his feet, scrambling to the other side of the humvee and radioing his friends for help.
When two of E Troop’s vehicles approached, Tschiderer pointed them toward the direction of the shot. As they maneuvered toward the source of the attack, a van pulled out in front of them, and the chase was on.
“When it was clear they wouldn’t stop, I gave the order to shoot the tires,” recalled Fabricante.
Some of the rounds ricocheted and struck one of the two occupants who was sitting in the rear of the van.
Once their vehicle was disabled, the two suspected terrorists jumped out of the van. With a clear view of the pair, Fabricante called in their descriptions and followed their trail.
Tschiderer recollected that one humvee searched the east side, while the other veered toward the west as a blocking force. The U.S. Soldiers, joined by Iraqi Army Soldiers, sought out the suspects in homes in the neighborhood.
In the end, it was the Iraqi citizens who led Tschiderer and his friends to the sniper.
“We ended up searching three homes on the west side,” said Tschiderer. “The families in the neighborhood kept pointing us in the right direction. In addition, the sniper’s toe was injured, so we were able to track him through a blood trail.”
Tschiderer, close behind, jumped over the wall, grabbed the sniper, searched him, handcuffed him, and put him in the humvee. The second suspect gave up when the E Troop Soldiers cornered him. He claimed to be the gardener for a nearby family; however, the family did not know him, and he did not know their names.
The Soldiers of E Troop found evidence of the attack in the suspects” van. Lined with diapers to muffle the sound, the vehicle contained a Russian sniper rifle, a 9-millimeter handgun, three hand grenades, and a fourth grenade rigged to the fuel tank with a pin. The Soldiers also found a full bag of ammunition, as well as a video camera containing footage of Tschiderer’s attack. Two holes were cut in the back of the van, one for the camera, and one for the weapon.
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