It was a busy day today. But I can’t complain, seeing as how it’s my first day back from a week in sunny Florida! Sorry, I’ll stop bragging. Anyway, back to today!
I ended up getting called off of my first story for some breaking news. There was word on the police scanner of shots fired, so we took the live truck and just went. When we got there, police told us they were trying to piece together exactly what happened. Police said based off early investigations and reports, 3 people showed up at a Des Moines man’s house. When he opened the door, they shot him in the stomach, or chest area, and then took off. As the police officer was telling me this, I couldn’t help but take a small step back in shock. How terrifying!
Just a few minutes before I went live, I spoke with the mother of the 25 year old victim. She said her son’s girlfriend just called her and said she had to come pick up her grand daughter- the young girl was home when her father was shot. I felt so bad for this woman and her family; she looked so scared and confused. She knew as much as we did at that point, if not less. I was just glad I could tell her that police had told me her son was in stable condition. Click here for my 6:00 story.
Once we left, I returned back to the station to finish my first story- about an officer who rescued a teenager from a burning car last night.
According to police, an 18 year old had been doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot of Urbandale Baptist Church, when he lost control of the car and struck an air conditioning unit. Officer Zack McDowell was only a few blocks away from the church when the call came in, but by the time he got there, the car was completely engulfed in flames. The officer ignored the dangers on the off chance that someone was still inside the car. The driver owes his life to the officer’s selfless decision.
“The vehicle was filled with smoke from the floor board up to the ceiling of the car, so I broke out the side window, still couldn’t see anything,” Officer McDowell remembered, “I was no more than a foot away from the driver and I still couldn’t see him, but when I looked down I saw part of a hand, so that’s when I saw that he was still in there.”
During the interview, I asked him several times, “did you ever think of what you were doing? Ever think that you were running into a burning car?” We’ve all seen the movies, the TV shows- a car on fire isn’t anything to mess with it. All I kept thinking as I am listening to him tell this story, is “weren’t you afraid it was going to explode?”
His answer was very honest, very genuine: “The situation presents itself and you just know that you have to do whatever it takes to get it done. There’s a guy inside a burning car. Anybody in that similar situation would do exactly that. You just got to get them out anyway you can.” He said it wasn’t training, it wasn’t the fact that he was a police officer- to him it was an was just an indisputable fact. He kept saying “anybody” would have done the same thing- but would they? Would I? Would you? I just don’t think this officer gave himself enough credit- and to me that honest modesty just adds to what a hero this man truly is. What a great example to live by!
The driver is in serious condition tonight at Mercy Hospital, but thanks to McDowell, he is alive.
Click HERE for the full story.