The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 27, 2021 1:00 am

Nurse's actions save life of shooting victim

She says she did nothing heroic: 'I went into nursedom'

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Enedina Olivarez was enjoying a night at the Mambo Room on West Jefferson Boulevard around 3 a.m. on May 23 when she saw bartender Belinda Quintanilla rush out of the club and, on instinct, followed her.

Quintanilla's brother, Johnny Quintanilla, one of the bar's managers, was lying in the parking lot, bleeding from five shots at close range after escorting a couple out of the club.

Olivarez's quick work as an ICU nurse saved his life. “She took immediate action and told everyone what to do,” Belinda Quintanilla said. “She put pressure where it was needed. She constantly talked to him because he wanted to close his eyes.”

Quintanilla believes there is no way her brother would have survived without help from Olivarez, who has spent years working in intensive care units, nearly five as a registered nurse. She trained at the University of Saint Francis is employed at Parkview Regional Medical Center. To Olivarez, her actions were nothing heroic.

“I went into nursedom,” she said. “I took initiative and had to focus on him and not anyone else.”

Quintanilla had been shot twice in the stomach, in both arms and his knee.

Olivarez remembers finding the injuries to the abdomen first and putting pressure on the wounds. That's when she remembers a police officer arriving and she told him her profession. He took Olivarez at her word and worked with her.

The officer told her he had QuikClot, a medicated gauze that inhibits bleeding, and tourniquets. Other Fort Wayne officers arrived and the tourniquets were applied with them working at her side along with another nightclub employee. Then Olivarez said she noticed Quintanilla growing paler.

“I knew he needed fluid. It was obvious he was losing a lot of blood,” Olivarez said. “I held his legs up to a 45-degree angle and when I did that, he got some color back to him.

“When I did the leg raise, the cops didn't know what I was talking about, but they let me do my thing.”

Before she knew it, Quintanilla, also known as “Johnny 5,” was being loaded onto a stretcher and placed in the back of an ambulance on his way to Lutheran Hospital.

A week later, Olivarez went back to the Mambo Room, 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd., “just to eat their food,” she said. That led to a friendship. People, including Belinda Quintanilla, recognized her and thanked her for saving Johnny 5's life.

“I went without thinking anyone would recognize me,” Olivarez said. “It was a second nature thing, and I did whatever anyone should do.”

During recovery, Johnny Quintanilla was so grateful for her expertise and care he gave her a necklace with a charm – a heart and stethoscope entwined with her name.

Belinda Quintanilla said her brother is home now after recovering more rapidly than doctors thought he would, but his medical and everyday bills are stacking up.

She has organized a GoFundMe, “Johnny 5 is Alive,” to help with his medical expenses and finances.

The day of the shooting Fort Wayne police issued a release that a man had been shot multiple times outside the Mambo Room around 3 a.m. Belinda Quintanilla said the shooter, who had been asked to leave the nightclub, stuck around.

The shooter shot Johnny Quintanilla at close range after Quintanilla escorted a couple to their car.

Johnny Quintanilla said he remembers lying there and being aware that it was chaos until he heard Olivarez, unknown to him at the time, telling everyone what to do. He doesn't know why, but he stayed calm and cool  “I was telling her how much I loved everybody and she kept telling me 'you're not going to die,' ” he said. “I remember everything.”

He saw silhouettes of ghostly figures who had come to help him stay alive. One friend who had died was there in spirit form, he said. Quintanilla had promised to look after his dead friend's wife forever.

“He came over my whole body. There was a lot of people who came from up there and were over me,” Johnny Quintanilla said.

Johnny Quintanilla is confident police will find the man who tried to kill him, he said. Both Quintanillas are related to the Mambo Room owner.

Detective Sgt. Tim Hughes, head of the Fort Wayne homicide unit, said last week the investigation is ongoing.

“We have names we are interested in, but no one I feel comfortable calling a suspect at this point,” he said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 260-436-7867, or on P3 Tips mobile app.

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