Leslie E. Shaffer helped to rescue Tiffani A. Gray and her children from assault, Akron, Ohio, June 16, 2019. Gray, 23, and her three daughters, ages 1, 3, and 4, were on a sidewalk of a city street when Gray’s ex-partner, 24, armed with a handgun, shot Gray once in the back. Shaffer, 31, certified nursing assistant, was driving a car with a male passenger, an unemployed laborer, when they witnessed the attack and responded. As Shaffer drove toward the shooting scene, the unemployed laborer, jumped out of the car and ran to help Gray and her children. Meanwhile a group home staff supervisor also parked nearby, arriving first. Exiting his vehicle, the group home staff supervisor positioned himself between Gray, who shielded her daughters on the ground, and the assailant. Shaffer’s passenger ran up, took off his shirt, and held it against Gray’s back to stem the bleeding as Shaffer exited her car and stood nearby. The group home staff supervisor continued to shield Gray when the assailant reached over his left shoulder and shot Gray in the back a second time and, in the process aimed the gun at the unemployed laborer’s head. The unemployed laborer engaged the assailant, along with the group home staff supervisor who, by this time, had grasped the assailant’s gun-wielding arm. During the struggle a shot was fired into the ground near them and shortly the assailant lost control of the gun, which fell to the ground. The assailant then produced a knife. Shaffer aided Gray and carried the 1-year-old to her car while the group home staff supervisor put Gray’s 4 and 3 year old daughters into his car. Shaffer and the group home staff supervisor drove from the scene to safety. The unemployed laborer, meanwhile, continued to fight with the assailant at the scene until the assailant retrieved his weapon and fled. The unemployed laborer gave chase with arriving police officers but ultimately the assailant shot himself nearby and died. The group home staff supervisor and the certified nursing assistant, who drove several blocks away, flagged down a responding police cruiser and summoned help for Gray and her daughters. Gray was hospitalized but recovered.
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