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August 21, 2005
A (Not-So-) Small Act Of Heroism

A few decades ago, when rare acts of senseless violence broke out on our streets, one expected the men in the area to protect any women and children from harm as best they could. Chivalry and social mores required it, and such action did not seem remarkable in the least. Today, when street violence has become so routine, one rarely hears of anyone who puts themselves at risk to protect anyone else, regardless of age and gender. The weapons in use and the regularity of the attacks have eroded that sense of chivalry, it seems.

Perhaps not entirely. In a short article from the New York Times, a 13-year-old boy in Brooklyn may have saved a young girl's life after she got shot in a crossfire, taking a bullet in the back:

A gunman fired shots in the direction of a group of people sitting in front of a building in Brooklyn early yesterday, hitting a 10-year-old girl, the police said. As the girl's friend, a 13-year-old boy, tried to shield her from further harm, he was shot in the back, he and his family said. ...

In a phone interview from his hospital bed yesterday, Ellis said that as he was getting his hair braided, the gunman fired the first of three shots. "When she got hit the first time, I heard her scream," he said, referring to Destiny, who was shot in her arms and upper chest, the police said.

As Ellis tried to pull Destiny into the building, he was shot, he said, though he did not realize it until about 15 minutes later, when the wound started to swell.

The hospital says that both kids are in stable condition. I use the term 'kids' loosely for Ellis Mercado; many adults would have reacted quite differently to the same circumstances. Let's pray for full recovery for this remarkable young man and his friend, and hope that the police can round up the cowards who opened fire on them.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 21, 2005 8:24 AM

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