A teen member of a police youth program put the life-saving skills he had learned into action Sunday when he helped two coworkers who had been stabbed by a robber.
Cobb County Police are commending Mario Alexander, 17, for his quick thinking and heroic efforts to help his coworkers until medical help could arrive.
"His actions more than exemplify our commitment and dedication to public safety," a post on Facebook said.
Alexander had been working a shift at a Georgia Target when he discovered two of his coworkers had been stabbed in the store by a robber.
One of the employees was "bleeding profusely" from a wound in his arm and the other had been stabbed in the neck.
Alexander used his Target shirt and materials he was able to find in the store to make a tourniquet to wrap around his coworker's arm in an effort to stop the bleeding, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
"I said, ‘What can I use?’ and then I looked down at my T-shirt, and I said, ‘T-shirt, let's go,’” Alexander later told WSB-TV.
He helped his other coworker by placing gauze and direct pressure over the neck wound until help could arrive, police said.
Alexander had learned the life-saving skills during training he received as a Cobb County Police Explorer, a youth program designed to teach teenagers basic police operations. As part of his training, he learned about applying tourniquets to wounds to prevent "massive amounts of blood loss and possibly death," police said.
"The Cobb County Police Department and our partners at Marietta Police Department thank Corporal Alexander for his quick thinking and would like to recognize him for putting to use the knowledge he has gained from the Cobb County Police Explorer program," they wrote on Facebook.
Those who knew Alexander weren't surprised by his efforts.
“Helping is his passion,” his mother Gabrielle Cummings told WSB-TV.
Officer Andy Higgins, of the Cobb County Explorer Program, described Alexander as "just that kind of person," the news channel reports.
Alexander is being praised as a hero, but the teen said he was just doing what he'd been trained to do.
“I really don’t think I’m a hero. I give all the credit to the police explorers, the police department, and the Lord,” he said.
Police later arrested Michael Leon Thornton, 27, in connection with the stabbings, The Journal Constitution reports. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of armed robbery.
[Photo: Cobb County Police Department]