A teenager from Missouri, USA was honored and felicitated for her act of bravery in saving a police officer who was shot in line of duty.
On Oct 1, Ava Donegan, a 17-year-old high schooler and her friend were out shopping at Excelsior Springs, a city in Clay County, Missouri when they witnessed a live shooting from their car at an intersection. Police Officer Andrew Stott of Excelsior Springs was shot twice and wounded by a suspect who had an arrest warrant out for him.
According to the Facebook post of the Sheriff’s office, the injured officer ran towards the vehicle Ava was in after he got shot. Although it was a great risk for Ava, she jumped in to help the wounded officer. She did not know whether more bullets would fly, but she could see the officer needed help, having been wounded in his right arm and left hand.
The officer pointed out where his tourniquet was on his outer carrier vest. As luck would have it, Ava’s father was a critical care nurse who had taught her how to properly tie a tourniquet. Ava then helped him retrieve it and put it on his wounded right arm. Her quick actions saved him that day.
“When the officer said, ‘Can you help me with my tourniquet?’ I was like, ‘Absolutely, I can help you with your tourniquet.’ It was really useful to have that knowledge from my dad,” 17-year-old high schooler Ava Donegan told.
The girl, not only tied the tourniquet but helped passed the information to dispatchers using officer Stotts radio and also assisted the police in the investigation, following the incident, by providing information on what she witnessed.
Following the incident, Ava was honored at a special ceremony with a handful of awards for her bravery, including the first-commissioned sheriff’s office challenge coin by Clay County Sheriff Will Akin, as well as a challenge coin by Excelsior Springs Police Chief Greg Dull. Excelsior Springs Mayor Sharon Powell also presented Donegan with a $2,000 scholarship provided by a local Ford dealership.
“I can only imagine how proud your family is. You don’t see citizens these days take the chance in life to make a difference. I have never met the officer you helped, but I can assure you, if he was my son, I would be so thankful you were there on that horrible day to help him,” Mike Anderson of the Chuck Anderson’s Excelsior Springs Ford dealership wrote in a letter that was read at the ceremony.
At the ceremony, Donegan said, “I still think anyone would have done it. But I’m very grateful to be here.” As she humbly accepted the awards.
As for the police officer, he is recovering slowly after receiving multiple surgeries following the shootout. The suspect, Carl Carrel was fatally shot by other officers in a shootout, later that day. Currently, the matter is under investigation.