SANDY — A man who rushed onto the scene of a double murder-suicide in Sandy on Tuesday described his confusing encounter with the killer just before the gunman took his own life, leaving the bystander unharmed.
Will May, who lives in the area, was on his way to pick up his son when he happened upon what he thought was a car accident and an injured woman lying in the road.
Trained in CPR, May didn't hesitate before jumping out of his car and rushing over to a man dressed all in dark clothing standing nearby.
"He wouldn't look at me and he looked a little dazed or something," May said. "I kept trying to talk with him and he wouldn't answer me."
May would learn later that the man he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with was 32-year-old Jeremy Patterson, who police say attacked Memorez Rackley, her two children and the daughter of a bystander trying to help them.
"I just didn't realize that it was a shooting incident," May said. "It just never occurred to me."
Getting no response from Patterson, May said he asked, "Hey, are you going to help me?"
"He just wouldn't talk to me. He wouldn't look me in the eye. He kept looking one direction or the other and I just stood beside him and said, 'What's the game plan here, what are we going to do?'" May said.
Still not realizing there were more victims in the car, May said he crouched down to check on Rackley, whom he said was lying in a "river of blood" in the road.
"As I came back up from kind of bowing down, you know, a little bit to see if I could see any breathing going on, I came up we were literally (so close) you couldn't have fit your hand between us. We were shoulder to shoulder," May said.
That's when the gun went off.
May still felt pain in his ear Wednesday from the strong recoil he felt near his head, believing someone else had just shot Patterson.
Fearing for his life, he ran.
May said he crouched behind some bushes and a fence, unable to hear from the ringing gunshot. He was soon found by police officers, some of whom appeared to believe he had been involved in the shooting. Eventually, May said he was able to talk to officers and begin piecing together what had happened.
Recounting the experience Wednesday, May said the question he cannot answer is why Patterson left him alive.
"I just can't even believe he didn't shoot me. That's the overriding thought in my mind every moment of the day is I can't believe he didn't shoot me," May said.