'Stay awake, stay with me:' security guard shares story of saving mom and baby after restaurant shooting

Kim Sandvik was working as an armed security guard at the jewelry story across the parking lot from Plaza Azteca.

Kim Sandvik looks over at Plaza Azteca from inside Gunderson's Jewelers.
Matt Henson / WDAY News
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — A local security guard is a reluctant hero. Moments after gunfire at a south Fargo restaurant he rushed to the scene to save a young mom and her 7-month-old baby who were shot.

Kim Sandvik has worked with ASP Security for 10 years. He's had to deal with a number of incidents over the years as an armed security guard, at places and events across the region. But nothing like what happened Wednesday, May 18.

"It's just a normal thing, you just do your job," he said right before arriving for work Friday at Gunderson's Jewelers where he works as an armed security guard.

He hasn't missed a shift since the shooting.

"I heard a gunshot, and the girls went to the window and said there's a gal sitting on the ground in the parking lot holding a baby and it looks like she's bleeding," he explained.


He told the employees to lock the door once he was outside and to call 911.

"I got down on the ground with mother and baby, I asked the mother if I could take the baby. Laid it on the ground and assessed the baby, and it was crying, so I turned my attention to the mother, and noticed up on the right chest she had a wound that was bleeding," said Sandvik.

He asked another man who also rushed out to help for his jacket to help stop the bleeding.

"I kept talking to her and making sure that she was trying to stay awake and keep her eyes open and told her to look at me, and pretty soon she slipped unconscious," recalled Sandvik.

He then noticed 21-year-old Lucia Garcia no longer had a pulse and started to do compressions for about 5 minutes until Fargo police and EMTs arrived.

"She didn't answer when I tried talking to her, so I just kept talking to her and telling her to keep her eyes open. 'You gotta stay awake, stay with me, look at me,' stuff like that," he said.

Sandvik says ASP provides a CPR training for the security crew, along with other types of training. At first he was not sure if the other man with Lucia was the shooter...

"Sometimes we're the first people on scene for stuff like this because we are there, we're stationed there. So sometimes we are assisting PD, a lot of times, before they even get there," he explained.


Sandvik isn't looking for recognition, he says it's all part of the job he signed up for. This day he just ended up saving two lives.

"I was very relieved for them and their family. It's a tough thing to go through and I'm so glad to hear that they are going to be OK," he said.

Sandvik says he would love to meet Lucia Garcia and baby Dominuque one day to see how their recovery is going, and wish them the best as they grow together.

What to read next
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
Follow this Fargo-Moorhead news and weather podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
Smoke bombs and crowd control tactics were employed as protesters took to the streets in an unpermitted protest that police say challenged their ability to keep everyone safe.