BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Everyone inside the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving Night was trying to get out of that mall when shots rang out, but one teen stayed behind to help - 18-year-old Rashad Billingsley, an Alabama Army National Guardsman.
On Thanksgiving Night his training was put to the test.
"Not a minute after we got in the store the gunshots were fired,” he described.
Billingsley, who was at the mall with family said there were two rounds of shots.
“It was two shots that were fired at first and then about a three to five second pause and then three or more were fired. At that time, it was chaotic,” he continued.
People were running and doing their best to get out of the mall, taking a side door exit. It was there were Billingsley’s path crossed with Molly, a 12-year-old in distress.
"Molly was complaining that her back hurt. I saw she had blood on her shirt and when I lifted it up, I saw she had a bullet wound,” explained Billingsley.
Hoover Police said Molly was an innocent bystander shot by a stray bullet. Billingsley said he quickly took action.
"I told a police officer to get me a shirt, so I can apply pressure to the wound, so she wouldn’t bleed out,” said Billingsley.
He stayed with Molly until medics arrived, an act of kindness that touched many, including the 12-years-old’s mother.
“They are grateful that god put me there in that particular place to help their daughter,” Billingsley stated.
He’s being hailed a hero, but he said he only did what was in his heart and what he’s been trained to do.
"I was just at the right place at the right time and I have a good heart. This was the pure goodness of my heart. That’s how I was raised. I couldn’t let the little girl sit there and suffer,” continued Billingsley.
Two more people were shot that evening, one fatally. EJ Bradford was shot by an on-duty Hoover Police Officer.
"It could have been me. He was in the army like I am. I send prayers to his family,” said Billingsley.
According to Molly mother’s Facebook page , the 12-year-old was discharged from the hospital and is grateful for the community’s prayers.