Only On 7: 'Hero' D.C. police officers who rushed 9-year-old shooting victim to hospital share their story
WASHINGTON (WJLA) – The Metropolitan Police officers who rushed a 9-year-old shooting victim to the hospital in their cruiser exclusively told ABC 7 News why they took matters into their own hands to save his life.
On Friday night, Jaydan Stancil was caught in the crossfire of flying bullets in his Northeast D.C. neighborhood. The boy was shot in the head and remains in critical condition on life support at Children’s National Medical Center.
When shots rang out in the parking lot of the Mayfair Mansions Apartments in the 3700 block of Hayes Street NE, D.C. police officers arrived one right after the other.
K-9 Officer Stephen Giannini, a 24-year veteran, was the first at Jaydan’s side.
“I knew that he was shot in the head and I knew that time was against us,” he said.
There was no time to wait for an ambulance. Giannini wrapped a towel around Jaydan’s head.
“I lifted him up in my arms and I just ran him I guess about 50 yards, 75 yards to the street,” he said.
Giannini handed Jaydan to Officer Shannon Strange of the 6th District. Strange has only been on the job for 18 months.
“It hit home for me personally, ‘cause I have four little brothers and they’re all around the same age,” Strange said.
Sixth District Officer Thomas Moore’s cruiser was the closest.
“Officers [were] running up, I just [saw] my car was the first and I was like, ‘Let’s go, we’re gonna get in this one,’” Moore said.
Strange held onto Jaydan in the backseat.
“At times I felt like he was gonna slip away,” Strange said. “I said, ‘Hold my hand. Kick. Kick for me.' And it was real scary.”
Jaydan’s family says the officers’ heroic actions are the only reason the boy is still alive.
“It just happened naturally,” Strange said. “It was something we were supposed to do.”
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier says she is proud of what her officers do every day, but angry about the violence.
“We’re just as pissed off as everybody else,” Lanier said. “We made a promise to the family. We’re going to close this case.”
Jayden’s family is hosting a “Stop the Violence” prayer circle on Friday night in his honor. It will be held at 7 p.m. in the courtyard of the Mayfair Mansions Apartments at 3744 Hayes St. NE.