A 17-year-old teen's courageous act has earned him one of the highest honors in the U.S. Army JROTC program.
Cadet Second Lieutenant Kaheem Bailey-Taylor, 17, was leaving his cousin's birthday in Philadelphia last August when a shooting broke out in the residence. Bailey-Taylor ran back inside the house and found four people were shot, three of whom were his cousins and one a fellow student at Philadelphia Military Academy.
“I ran in there, started assessing, started doing triaging, and I felt as though one of the people that I saved had the most injuries that could be fatal,” Bailey-Taylor said, per 6abc Action News. Bailey-Taylor focused his attention on helping his classmate whose injuries “were potentially fatal."
“Everybody calls me crazy for going back, but I don’t know what it was. Something in me told me that I had to go and get them,” Bailey-Taylor said, according to the Army website.
As a part of his JROTC training, Bailey-Taylor learned how to deliver basic emergency care. The teen tapped into what he learned and began applying pressure to his classmate's stomach wound using his hoodie.
Because of Bailey-Taylor's effort, the student survived the shooting and is back at the military academy, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A 17-year-old male was arrested in December in connection with the shooting.
Bailey-Taylor was presented last week with the U.S. Army's Medal of Heroism, which honors cadets who demonstrate acts of courage and bravery.
“The act must result in an accomplishment so exceptional/outstanding as to set a Cadet apart and involve acceptance of danger or extraordinary responsibilities," the Army press release states.
“It’s the highest award given in JROTC,” Commandant LTC Russell Gallagher, the Philadelphia Military Academy instructor who nominated Bailey-Taylor for the honor, told 6abc Action News.
“Even if he had not earned this medal, he would still be a rare student,” Gallagher said.