‘I just put him first.’ Good Samaritan praised for helping Newark police officers who were shot
A Newark woman is being praised for her quick actions to help police officers who were shot earlier this week.
The shooting happened in the back parking lot of 25 Van Velsor Place near Chancellor Avenue on Nov. 1.
Authorities say Officers Johnny Aquino and Jabrill Paul were attempting to question Kendall Howard about another crime when he pulled out a gun and shot them. Aquino was shot in the neck and shoulder area and Paul was shot in the leg.
A good Samaritan saw this happen and moved her car to shield the officers from getting shot again. While the gunfire was going off, she also tended to Aquino’s injuries
“I wasn’t even thinking about myself. I just put him first,” she says.
The good Samaritan agreed to speak with News 12 New Jersey but only if she could remain anonymous.
After checking on Aquino, she walked over to her car and pulled towels out of her trunk for his neck. At the time, she was dropping off groceries for her husband and daughter who were both at home.
"And I wasn't even thinking about bullets, the only thing I saw was him. And that's what I was focused on, saving him,” she says.
She says that she is a nurse who works with the mentally ill.
“[It was] natural for me to go help someone. That's what I do,” she says. “I would want someone to do that for me, my family, my daughter, my husband, my sister.”
Other officers were eventually able to carry the injured officers away. They were taken to University Hospital for treatment. Paul was released the next day. Aquino was released Friday morning.
It seems that the good Samaritan moving her car to shield the officers made a difference. She showed News 12 a bullet hole in the hood.
When asked if she would act like this again, she replied, “Of course, I would do it again. That's who I am."
Authorities say the shooter was living in the apartment complex and was eventually tracked down inside and arrested after a 22-hour manhunt. He's now charged with attempted murder.