Victoria man's son honored for saving life
BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN - CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM
Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:19 a.m.
Updated Dec. 20, 2012 at 6:20 a.m.
Other winners of Carnegie Hero medals awarded Wednesday:
Christopher M. Johnson, 20, of Bolingbrook, Ill., helped save a teenage boy who broke through the ice on a retention pond in Bolingbrook on Dec. 11, 2011.
Carl Casey Loando, 54, of Honolulu, Hawaii, saved an 85-year-old woman from her burning home on April 27, 2011.
Gary Yurkovic Jr., 27, of Carteret, N.J., helped save a suicidal 53-year-old woman from falling from railroad trestle in New Brunswick, N.J., on Dec. 14, 2010.
Ione Fletcher Kleven, 64, of Castro Valley, Calif., rescued a 14-year-old boy from a knife assault by three men in residential neighborhood on May 14, 2010.
Thomas Joseph Delgado, 43, of Valley Center, Kan., and Joseph C. Page, 36, of Wichita, Kan., rescued a motorist from a burning pickup after a crash in Wichita on Aug. 31, 2011.
Jonathan Paul Jones, 41, of Lisbon Iowa; Makeda S. Barkley, 16, of Lisbon, Iowa; Kujtime Ajro, 29, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Nathan James Marling, 18, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, saved two boys from drowning in the Cedar River in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on June 19, 2011. Jones died in the rescue.
Ricky D. Clinton, 49, of Mountain Pine, Ark., died while trying to rescue a 13-year-old boy from a burning home in Mountain Pine on Sept. 24, 2011.
Cynthia L. Riediger, 53, of Calgary, Alberta, died while helping to save a 64-year-old man from drowning in Pelee Island, Ontario, on Aug. 23, 2010.
John M. Byrd, 49, of Round O, S.C., and Mark Samuel Dawson, 37, of Summerville, S.C., pulled a 35-year-old man from his burning car after a Sept. 17, 2011 crash in Round O.
Kenneth J. Stephens Sr., 55, of Dunnellon, Fla., died while trying to save a 44-year-old woman from drowning in Lake Weir in Ocklawaha, Fla., on June 13, 2011.
Robert Eli Meyer, 28, of Kingston, Mass., saved a 10-year-old boy from drowning in Atlantic Ocean off Scituate, Mass., on May 14, 2011.
Connor Farland Stotts, 17, of Oceanside, Calif., saved two teenagers from drowning in the Pacific Ocean in Oceanside on July 31, 2011.
SOURCE: CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION
Joshua Steed was working at his office computer on Sept. 7, 2011, when he heard his co-worker yell, "Why are you doing this?"
Steed, 21, grabbed a heavy office chair and flung it toward an armed assailant who had fired shots at his colleague and friend, Jacob Allen.
"The only reason I was able to react was because of the courage God gave me in that moment," Steed wrote via email on Wednesday. "I remember thinking that I couldn't leave Jacob alone and defenseless in the office."
The bullet landed between Allen's temples, plunging him into an almost fatal condition.
"Jacob was not expected to live for several days," said Joshua's father, Robert Steed, of Victoria. "But he recovered with a little bit of temporary memory loss."
Now, Allen, 23, is a newlywed and college graduate - thanks to Joshua Steed, who rendered the assailant unconscious before he could inflict further harm.
The Carnegie Hero Fund awarded Joshua Steed and 17 other people, including four who died in their rescue attempts, on Wednesday for their heroism.
"I'm obviously very proud of him," Steed's father said while fighting back tears. "It's hard to believe something like that happened."
Steed was a college student in Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene when he and Allen were approached by a another co-worker with a .38-caliber revolver at the apartment complex where they all worked.
Instead of closing the office door to protect himself, Steed rushed the gunman and threw a chair at him, according to the commission.
Then he grabbed the gunman by the arms, rammed him into a wall and threw him to the floor - getting his gun in the process.
The gunman died of his injuries two days later, Robert Steed said.
Joshua Steed went through several sessions of therapy to work through the traumatic event.
"God truly worked through me in such a tragic situation and has continued to work through Jacob and I in our healing processes," he said. "It is beyond an honor to have been given such an award."
Joshua Steed graduated from college Saturday.
Other medal winners are from Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts and Calgary, Canada.
Collectively, they saved seven people from drowning, two from burning cars, and one from a burning home.
And a police officer in New Brunswick, N.J., climbed over the fence of a railroad trestle to rescue a suicidal woman dangling 25 feet above a street.
Carnegie medalists or their heirs receive financial grants approved by the commission.
More than $34.8 million has been awarded to 9,576 honorees since the fund's inception in 1904.
Joshua Steed would not disclose the amount of his award.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie was inspired to start the fund after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.
The Pittsburgh-based commission that administers the fund chooses recipients four times a year. The panel provides financial help to medal recipients who were disabled - or to the dependents of those killed - by their heroism.