There is a stigma that pregnant women are weak, sensitive, and incapable of being the hero. 26-year-old Shelby Floyd-Berrios, who is five months pregnant, shattered that stigma on September 26th when she rushed to help a wounded man in front of a salon in Clay County, Florida.
Floyd-Berrios’ first thought after she heard gunshots in the parking lot was that she needed to go help. She had previously studied nursing, and was confident she could put her knowledge to use.
“I had no other option,” she said. “I saw him go down, and there was no choice in my mind. I wasn’t going to let someone lay there and die.”
Surveillance footage from the salon shows her rushing outside, not thinking twice about the danger she was putting herself and her unborn child in.
“Shelby just said, ‘I’ve been to nursing school,’ and bolted. I was thinking about the shooter, and I know she’s pregnant, so I didn’t want her to be the next person shot,” said salon manager Charlene Mann.
The shooter has been identified as 18-year-old Thomas Jacob Lewis IV, who had a warrant out for his arrest at the time of the shooting for the sale and delivery of narcotics. The wounded man happened to be a US Customs and Border Protection agent. Floyd-Berrios was unaware of this until she saw his holster and uniform. Lewis presumably targeted the agent for being a law enforcement officer and is said to have no other connection to him.
Lewis shot the agent multiple times from his car before shooting and killing himself across the parking lot. The agent had been grocery shopping at Publix and was carrying his groceries to his car when he was shot down. Floyd-Berrios was joined in her efforts to help by Publix employees and staff from a nearby doctor’s office.
Floyd-Berrios applied pressure to the man’s chest while witnesses brought paper towels and gloves to assist her. One witness had a clotting agent in his truck and joined the group effort to stop the agent from bleeding until medics arrived at the scene.
“The shooter wasn’t at the forefront of my mind,” said Floyd-Berrios. “I think if you ask anybody what they were thinking about, [we] just wanted to make sure this person was safe. It was definitely important for me to make sure this agent knew that he was not alone, and that people who cared and wanted to help were there to assist and guide him through such a terrifying ordeal.”
The agent, who has not been identified, has been hospitalized and is in critical condition. When Floyd-Berrios was helping him, she realized that he had previously been a customer at the salon.
“He’s a really sweet and noble gentleman and he deserves our respect. I hope [he’s] doing okay and comes back into the salon, because [he has] a big hug waiting on him,” she said.
It’s women like Floyd-Berrios that show just how strong women can be, even while pregnant.
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