The Kansas City Police Department honored 9-year-old Jason Smith II for his heroism on the night of July 28, 2011 when he saved his baby brother from a rampaging gunman, reports KMBC.com.
Jason was asleep next to his grandmother, Jackie Riley, 55, and his 2-year-old brother Zion, when his mother’s ex-boyfriend broke in and shot Riley. He then moved to the next room in search of Jason’s mother, Naushay Riley, 36.
That’s when Jason sprung into action.
The Grio reports:
God just gave me the strength to pick him up ran out the house and go to somebody’s house.” he recalls. As he ran he heard more gun shots the ex-boyfriend had just killed his mother as well.
Jason has witnessed tragedy before and wanted to spare his brother. “When I was two, I saw my dad get shot, and I didn’t want him to go through the same situation I did.”
Jason’s uncle sits with pride knowing the boy had a guardian angel and hopes he can be an angel to Jason as well. “I pray to god that I’m one of them to make sure he gets separated from this cycle of violence.” said Robert Huer.
Huer relays the night’s events in even more vivid detail:
[Jason] moved my sister’s leg from under Zion, kissed her, took her cell phone, got his bother and put him on his back. He went to the first door (for help) and they didn’t even open it. But he kept going. He kept going, then someone did open the door. That’s heroic stuff.
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Kansas City Police Chief Rick Armstrong said that he was honored to meet Jason, a young boy who has “suffered more in his 9 years than most adults will in their lifetime.” Homicide Unit Detective Brent Taney echoed those sentiments:
Jason showed a tremendous amount of bravery and courage while acting in a selfless manner that probably saved his younger brother’s life, as well as his own.”
Jason doesn’t view himself as a hero, instead he says he’s just the young man that his late mother trained him to be:
My mom just taught me to be brave and be strong,” Smith said. “And that’s what I’m trying to do.”
He plans on hanging his award next to his mother’s picture.
KMBC reports that the alleged shooter later committed suicide in a stand-off with police.