Sources: John Kass and Jeremy Gorner Chicago Tribune) and Steven Dahlman (Marina City Online).
It all happened in an instant, on a rainy summer evening in downtown Chicago:
A man was walking over the State Street Bridge when he was approached by someone who shot him in the back of the head.
A young man named Shane Carrol and his mother Ann were walking across the bridge and saw the shooting. Shane rushed to help victim Todd Brown, while someone unsuccessfully chased after the shooter.
Carrol knelt before the victim, who was still conscious. The bullet casing rolled off Brown’s clothes. Another man called Kyle Smith (who remained unidentified for three months) grabbed the casing before it rolled off the bridge. Carrol took off his shirt and handed it to Smith, who used it as a tourniquet on Brown, who was bleeding profusely. Shane’s mom had already called 911; police and paramedics arrived at the scene, but Brown’s life had already been saved by Carrol and Smith, who didn’t know each other. The shooter is still at large.
The incident would have been just one more unfortunate city crime, but the people involved and their circumstances have captured my imagination.
It turns out that Shane Carrol is a cadet at the New Mexico Military Institute. He was visiting relatives in Chicago.
Kyle Smith is an Army sergeant and a SWAT officer in West Chester, Ohio. He was on his way to an FBI job interview.
And the victim, Todd Brown, is a career criminal. He has a lengthy record, including narcotics and aggravated battery. He was attempting a fresh start, staying off the streets for the previous four months. He was walking to work on the evening of the shooting.
But Brown’s background didn’t matter. Two brave men happened to walk by when he was shot. They didn’t stand by. They didn’t ask questions. They didn’t wait for an ambulance to arrive. A man had fallen and they rushed to help, instead of walking away.
Shane Carrol was recognized for his “swift response, bravery and indispensably skilled first aid” by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. He will graduate from the Military Institute this year.
After saving Brown’s life, Kyle Smith still attended his FBI interview. An FBI official told the Chicago Tribune that Smith got the job because of his “calm demeanor in crisis on that bridge, and his act of kindness and helping.”
Maybe it’s this kindness that captured my imagination; it’s something to aspire to and we can emulate.