Teenaged girl shows immense bravery

Annie Gemmill, Journalism 1 reporter

Slight disappointment fills the air as she drives back home after an unsuccessful shopping trip. The wind hums around her car in a harmonic fashion and she drives. The humming of the wind comes to a stop as she slows to a stop at a red light. Everything is perfectly quiet for one moment then BAM.

I can’t stand being called a hero.”

— senior Ava Donegan

No one will know how they react when faced with a traumatic event, senior Ava Donegan reacted in a brave fashion when faced with a fatal shooting.

“My dad is an ICU nurse so ever since I was little, he taught me about first aid and care for traumas,” Donegan said.

On Sunday, Oct. 1, during a small thrift shopping trip to Excelsior Springs, Mo., Donegan partnered with long-term boyfriend, junior Billy Drier, witnessed a shoot-out between a cop and a suspect with a warrant for his arrest. Excelsior Springs Officer officer Andrew Scott was shot twice, in his right shoulder and at the base of his thumb on his left hand.

“We saw sirens go off. Ava thought it was because she had a brake light out , that’s why, you know we were stopped,” Drier said. “I looked in my right mirror and I saw two shots go off. The officer got hit, and he fell. I thought he died.”

Drier said the officer then ran around to Donegan’s side of the car and asked for her to help with his tourniquet, a medical device used to cut the blood flow off from a major wound.

She also helped him use his walkie to call to his department. She then waited until EMS got to the scene.

Scott is expected to make a fully recovery after several surgeries and seeing a couple specialist. Donegan’s ability to act fast during these events helped exponentially with Scott’s injuries.

“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,” according to the sheriff’s office Facebook post following the events.

Drier’s pride in Donegan runs deep.

“Oh absolutely,” Drier said.

Drier isn’t alone when it comes to people proud of Donegan. On Thursday, Nov. 17, Donegan was awarded a $2000 scholarship from the Ford dealership in Excelsior Springs to use for college in relations to her courageous actions.

“To this day, I can’t stand being called a hero,” Donegan posted on her Instagram on Friday, Nov. 18, following her scholarship. “That word has been flung at me since October 1st from media, teachers, peers, and even random individuals who recognize my face. I’ve even been called the ‘district poster child ’ but I’m not a hero.”