Five people shot in San Bernardino, California Wednesday are being treated at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. CEO Kerry Heinrich says two are in critical condition, the others are in fair condition. (Dec. 3)
AP

Injured victims caught in San Bernardino shooting Wednesday made frantic calls to loved ones even as the writhed in pain from multiple bullet wounds.

Five shooting victims remained Thursday at Loma Linda University Medical Center, hospital CEO Kerry Heinrich said.He said two of the victims were in serious condition and three were “fair.” As of Thursday morning, Arrowhead Regional Memorial Hospital in Colton, Calif., was caring for  five patients from the shooting, all stable, San Bernardino County spokeswoman Felisa Cardona said.

One victim was admitted at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana and is in stable condition, hospital officials said. And at the Community Hospital of San Bernardino, officials said Thursday morning that two patients admitted from the shooting had been discharged.

Here are some of their stories:

Kevin Ortiz

On Thursday morning, Rosa Ortiz paced outside Arrowhead Regional Memorial Hospital in Colton, Calif., hands stuffed inside the pockets of her gray Winnie-the-Pooh hoodie.

She had not slept since arriving at her nephew’s side the night before. Kevin Ortiz, 24, an environmentalist for San Bernardino County, had been one of the 21 wounded in Wednesday’s mass shooting in southern California in which 14 people died. “I stayed by his side all night,” his aunt said.

Ortiz said her nephew had recounted to his family what he could remember from the event at the Inland Regional Center, a social services center for the developmentally disabled that was the site of Wednesday’s rampage. He had heard the shots first but thought it was a drill, she said.

“He was sitting at his table when the doors flung open and he saw two people dressed in black,” she said. A sharp pain pierced one of his legs. Only a few seconds later would he realize it was from a gunshot.

Kevin scrambled under the table but was shot again.

He telephoned his wife of two weeks and his father to tell them he was hurt but OK, his wife told the Los Angeles Times. “Kevin said he had been shot three times and that he was in pain but he was all right,” Dyana Ortiz, 23, told the Times. “Then he said ‘I love you’ and I said ‘I love you.'”

Ortiz’s brother, David, told the Times he was not surprised he had found the ability to make these crucial phone calls. “That’s Kevin, he’s a fighter,” he said.

Rosa Ortiz said Thursday that her nephew was “in a lot of pain” but remained alert and in stable condition after undergoing surgery Wednesday for five gunshot wounds, Ortiz said.

“He’s asking about his co-workers,” Rosa Ortiz said. “That’s just his personality.”

The family had been trying to shield Kevin from news reports that detailed just how tragic the shooting had been.

“We’re one of the lucky families and unfortunately the other 14 families don’t have this story to share,” Ortiz said, her voice cracking. “It really breaks our heart that this is happening to — to all of us.”

Rosa Ortiz said violence of this scale had never affected their family or community. “Shocked,” she said. “I think that’s the word.”

Denise Peraza

Another of the injured, Denise Peraza, 27, called her family from Arrowhead hospital, according to local TV station KABC. “She said ‘I just want to tell you that I love you’ and then she said she had to go and she hung up,” said Stephanie Baldwin, Peraza’s sister. According to KABC, she is expected to recover from her injuries, which included a bullet in her lower back.

“As soon as the gunfire started, everyone dropped to the floor and they were underneath desks, and she was trying to shield herself with a chair, along with a man next to her,” Baldwin told the station. “Then, all of a sudden, she said she just felt it going through her back.”

Peraza, who worked with gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, told her family the shooters dressed in black and wore black masks, according to the station. She said the shooters did not speak as they fired at people in the conference room where most of the carnage occurred.

Jennifer Stevens

Another young person injured, according to local media, was 22-year-old Jennifer Stevens, a native of Redondo Beach, a community about 50 miles west of San Bernardino.

Redondo Beach resident Wright Adaza told the local Daily Breeze newspaper that he spoke to Stevens’ mother, Lisa Growden Stevens, as she drove to Arrowhead to see her daughter, who suffered a gunshot wound to her abdomen and required surgery. She was in stable condition, Adaza told the paper.

Stevens’ mother received a telephone message from her daughter about two minutes after the shooting, Adaza said.

“It said, ‘Mom, I’m at work. I’ve been shot,'” Adaza said. “She texted her sister and told her she’d been shot and that was all they knew for a while.”

According to her LinkedIn page, Stevens also worked with Farook.

The local Beach Reporter newspaper said that Stevens played soccer at the University of California-Riverside, from which she graduated in June. According to the paper, Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel posted on Facebook that she was in recovery.

“Just a great kid and one heck of an athlete! She will win this one,” he said.

Megan Cassidy and JJ Hensley of the Arizona Republic, a Gannett newspaper in the USA TODAY Network, contributed to this report.

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