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Meet the woman who picked up Tucson shooter's ammunition

by Mark Schnyder

KMOV.com

Posted on January 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 17 at 5:49 PM

(KMOV)-- Patricia Maisch moved away from the St. Louis area 40 years ago but she's back in town visiting family nine days after witnessing and playing a role in stopping the mass shooting at the Safeway in Tucson, Arizona.

She agreed to do her umteenth (and possibly final) interview with me at a family member's home in Fenton Monday morning.

She says her visit comes at a good time but the real test will be when she returns to her home in Tucson and resumes her normal life... or what she calls "new normal."  It can never be the same after experiencing what she experienced.

She's not real comfortable with the "hero" label and that's good because I'm not usually comfortable giving it out (when it's overused the word really loses its meaning).  Maisch admits to lying on the ground "trying to avoid being a target" when the magazine some men wrestled away from the gunman came within her reach.  She reached for it and grabbed it.

"They had the courage to bring him down and I just happened to be right where they brought him down," Maisch told me.

She says it was humbling to get a call from the President and meet him. 

She says she's sleeping "quite well" because she was "about 20 feet away from the actual chaos and mayhem."  She doesn't have graphic images in her head as she says she "chose not to go over and look at the carnage."

Maisch does not believe new gun laws will help prevent another "Tucson" but she hopes some mental health laws or at least new attention to mental health care could.

If you want to hear more from Patricia Maisch, our story with her is scheduled to air during Monday's 5pm newscast.

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.  He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com.

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