Seattle doctor at Standing Rock: ‘People had sheets of ice hanging off them’

Dr. Robie Sterling finished his residency at Swedish Medical Center a few months ago. Not long after, he traveled to North Dakota with two other doctors from Swedish.

But he was alone in the medic tent when the radio call came in Sunday evening. There was a confrontation happening at the front line.

Sterling: “Police were starting to shoot the rubber bullets.”

Police also used water sprays and tear gas.

It was dark, below freezing, and injured people started to pour in.

Sterling: “The initial ones were nearly all head shots. Pretty much everyone had a concussion. Some of them had lacerations to the head. One woman had an eye injury.”

Sterling says the camp had just started to prepare for incidents like this, but they were far from ready.

Listen to the audio interview on kuow.org