A Missouri teenager who jumped into action and helped tie a tourniquet on an officer who was shot in the line of duty in October was honored for her bravery this month.
"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 reporters of the October incident when she jumped into action to help Excelsior Springs officer Andrew Stott. Her father is a critical care nurse who taught his family how to properly use a tourniquet, the Courier Tribune reported.
Donegan and her friend were on a shopping trip and were stopped at an intersection in Excelsior Springs on Oct. 1 when Donegan saw Stott get shot twice by a suspect with a warrant out for his arrest, according to the authorities.
"Officer Stott ran to the vehicle Ava was in after he got shot. She did not know whether more bullets would fly, but she could see he needed help. He had been shot in the right arm and the left hand. Officer Stott pointed out where his tourniquet was on his outer carrier vest. Ava helped him retrieve it and put it on his wounded right arm," the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook of the incident.
Authorities said that Stott was unable to use his radio due to his injuries, but Donegan was able to use it for him and fill dispatchers in on what happened.
"Ava and her friend had come to Excelsior Springs that day to go shopping. She had no obligation to help a law enforcement officer in a life-or-death situation, but she did. Ava also assisted the Sheriff’s Office in our investigation of the incident, providing information about what she witnessed," the sheriff’s office added on Facebook.
The teenager was honored Thursday 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 Thursday.
Donegan struck a humble tone at the awards ceremony saying she was "grateful" for the award.
"I still think anyone would have done it," Donegan said. "But I’m very grateful to be here."
Stott has received multiple surgeries due to his injuries and is expected to recover, the Courier Tribune reported.
The suspect in the shooting, Carl Carrel, was fatally shot by other police officers following Stott being shot. The Clay County Prosecutor's Office is now investigating the incident, according to the sheriff's office.
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