An elderly man who found himself in the midst of the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport on Friday did the most amazing thing and we’re here to make sure his incredibly good deed doesn’t go unnoticed.
Tony Bartosiewicz, 70, found himself near Annika Dean, 42, a Florida school teacher, when the terrible shooting began. Dean, who said the gunman closed in on where she was, instinctively got on the ground for cover, as Bartosiewicz stepped in to protect her from the gunfire.
“He basically climbed on top of me and whispered, ‘I will protect you,’” said Dean. “I knew he might be a victim, but I also knew I would survive.”
Annika, who is a mother of two, said she was waiting for her luggage when she heard the shots. She got petrified because there was no place to hide, with the gunman just 30 feet from her.
“There was no way I could have escaped,” she said. “I would have been right in his path if I had tried to evacuate through the doors.”
It was hard to know exactly where the shooter was because he didn’t say a word. “He wasn’t talking, he was very quiet,” said Dean. “Other than the gunshots, which were very loud,” Dean didn’t hear anything else. “Sometimes he sounded close, sometimes he sounded farther away,” she said.
Thankfully, the police arrived and the gunman was detained, so she and Bartosiewicz got up from the floor, safe and unharmed.
“The first thing I said to him was I thanked him and told him that it was terrifying and what he did brought me comfort, that it was just so comforting,” she said, as reported by Conservative Tribune. “I thanked him throughout the day and told him he was a hero.”
Bartosiewicz’s daughter, Jenny Miller, wasn’t surprised of her father’s noble act and said that was just the kind of man her father was.
“He would do something like this without thinking,” she said about the elderly hero who risked his own life to save other’s.
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