'God put me there': Alabama National Guardsman saved a 12-year-old shooting victim
Rashad Billingsley is being hailed a hero after saving a 12-year-old victim of the Alabama shooting. He credited God and his military training for the life-saving act.
Billingsley, 18, is an Alabama National Guardsman who has received specialized training. But on Friday, he was just like everyone else as he scouted for black Friday sales.
Mere minutes after Billingsley stepped into Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, gunshots rang out. The young man ditched his efforts at finding that new sneaker, and instead went into survival mode.
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He said to Fox 6: "Not a minute after we got in the store the gunshots were fired."
In another interview, Billingsley described the scene:
“Once we heard the gun shots, it was all chaotic. Everyone was just running, I guess trying to seek cover, get to safety,.My military training kicked in, get as low to the ground first off and then try to seek cover... I was telling everyone follow me, this way, there’s an exit over there.”
Keeping himself safe, Billingsley attempted to find a side door to avoid the shooter. On his way, he saw 12-year-old Molly. She complained to him about a pain in her back.
“I saw she had blood on her shirt and when I lifted it up, I saw she had a bullet wound.”
Instead of escaping, Billingsley lifted stayed with the injured girl and did what he could to help.
He explained what happened next:
“I had told a police officer to go grab me a jacket so I could apply pressure to the wound. Because it was on her back, I couldn’t apply a tourniquet which stops the blood flow from going to the actual wound. So the only thing I could do was put pressure into the wound to stop the bleeding.”
Billingsley's efforts worked. Meanwhile, young Molly only realized she had been shot when her grandmother made a phone call to her mother telling her what happened.
The mother wrote a lengthy Facebook post thanking Billingsley for saving her daughter. Molly was treated for a fractured rib, and the bullet will remain inside her.
However, it did not touch her spine. She was released from the hospital some days after.
Billingsley, who stayed with the girl until paramedics arrived, remains humble. He said it was "how he was raised."
He wrote in a Facebook post:
“Let me just say first all thanks to God for me being in that store. I’m a strong believer and believe everything happens for a reason…and my reason for being there was to help little Molly.”
His mother is of course extremely proud of her son. And the two families plan to remain connected after the incident.
Suspect arrested in Alabama mall shooting that led police to mistakenly kill innocent man https://t.co/5LPCbGqKQC— TIME (@TIME) November 29, 2018
The Alabama shooting occurred on Thanksgiving Thursday night. It left one person dead and two others: Molly and a male, 18, wounded. Emantic Bradford Jr. was the only fatality of the occurrence.
Yesterday, the police announced they had arrested Erron Martez Dequan Brown of Fairburn Georgia. The 20-year-old is charged with attempted murder of the 18-year-old man.
This follows a false identification by police who shot Bradford, believing him to be a suspect. They later claimed it was "unlikely" he was the shooter.
As a result, the public has called for the "limited information" of the case to be released. Bradford was carrying a gun at the time, but he did not brandish it.
You killed that man for no reason! His blood is on your hands! Do Something About It!!!!!!— Shukriyyah (@Momma2Russy) November 24, 2018
When he tried to flee the scene, a police officer shot him in the back. He is now on paid administrative leave as an investigation is done. Bradford's funeral will take place on Saturday.
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