‘I’m really proud of him’: Lifeguard injured while trying to save shooting victim

A lifeguard tried to save a shooting victim at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in Ojus.

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – Katherine Lagos said she was proud. She stood near her 25-year-old son on Tuesday and said he tried to save the woman who was fatally shot on Sunday at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in Ojus.

Lagos said her son Christian Wegener Nichols was standing right across from the gunman who detectives later identified as Carl Watts, a 45-year-old convicted felon who was a fugitive in a stabbing in Miami.

Lagos was watching over the pool during swimming lessons when Watts started to shoot Shandell Harris. Lagos said her son rushed to help the children who were screaming and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Harris.

“It gets me really emotional. He started performing CPR on her. He had turned her over, but he could see that she was shot many times,” Lagos said. “Anybody could have been a victim.  Kids or him or anybody else. I just hope that people understand that domestic violence is something that is severe.”

Harris, a 30-year-old mother, was at the community center for her daughter’s swimming lesson. She was married to Watts, who was also a person of interest in the 2014 disappearance of Trukita Scott.

Scott, a 24-year-old mother of two, was last seen on June 25, 2014, in Miami Gardens. Her 2007 Nissan Altima was abandoned in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood.

Watts was at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Tuesday held without bond. He was never arrested for Scott’s disappearance, but he is facing charges for Harris’s murder.

On Saturday, Watts was accused of stabbing Harris six times in Miami. Officers said he fled. A day later at the community center, Watts offered Harris money to drop the charges on the stabbing, and when she refused, he fatally shot her, according to the arrest report.

The convicted felon allegedly stood over her in the pool area after she collapsed and continued shooting until he ran out of cartridges, police said. He took off running shortly after 2 p.m., but a private security guard held him at gunpoint until officers arrived, police said.

Lagos said she was not surprised that her son was quick to help the children to safety and try to save a life. She said he had dreams of joining the U.S. Navy and becoming a Navy seal.

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About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.