18-Year-Old NC Teen Al'Tarrek Bell Sacrifices His Life to Shield a 10-Year-Old Boy from Gunfire

A GoFundMe page has been set up for a North Carolina teen, Al'Tarrek Bell, who died of gunshot wounds while shielding a 10-year-old boy from gunfire. 

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they do not all wear capes. In this case, the hero came in the form of Al'Tarrek Bell, an 18-year-old from North Carolina. 

Bell died a hero after protecting his girlfriend's relative, a ten-year-old boy, from gunfire while they were sitting in the backseat of a car. The teenager took the bullets himself, saving the little boy in the process. 

Picture of a worried boy resting his chin on his fist. | Photo: Getty Images

Picture of a worried boy resting his chin on his fist. | Photo: Getty Images

Bell died of his wounds at the scene. The driver of the car, Sadiel Gonzalez, 25, also died. The latter was a resident of the apartment complex where the shooting occurred on March 27. 

Police revealed the 10-year-old boy did not sustain any injuries following the shooting, adding that the motive for the attack remains under investigation. 

Yellow "Crime scene do not cross" tape. | Photo: Pexel

Yellow "Crime scene do not cross" tape. | Photo: Pexel

Though Bell died, his mother, Izetta Howell, is exceedingly proud of his last act on earth. She told the Courier-Post that she knows her son died a hero, adding that she could smile because he saved another person. 

Meanwhile, the mother of the boy Bell saved was full of gratitude to him and took to her Facebook page to express her appreciation, vowing to keep his name alive. 

Hill said no mother should know what it feels to have to bury their child.

In her post, the woman, Jacqueline Santiago, shared a picture of Bell in the stars, with angel wings around him. She said she was dedicating her page to him and narrated how he put his life on the line to save her son, shielding him to make him safe. 

Santiago recalled how Bell always told her that he would always protect her son and how he kept his word by giving his life to save the little boy. She concluded, writing

"LONG LIVE Alttreck!! We gone mourn you till we join you💯💯I love you 😪😪 Keep looking over us. Rah will never be the same 😔😔😔😔."

Meanwhile, Howell's friend, Diane Hill, has organized a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a proper funeral for the deceased Bell. 

Hill said no mother should know what it feels to have to bury their child and urged people to pray for Howell and her family during this terrible time. At the moment, 284 have donated on the page, raising $12,848 out of the $15,000 goal.

Bell's father, Toriano Arthur, also launched a GoFundMe appeal for donations and wrote that his late son died being a hero. Arthur's page has raised $4,160 out of a $5,000 goal. 

The police are yet to announce any arrests made in connection with the shooting and have asked those with information to contact Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7133 or email tips@co.burlington.nj.us.

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