The police department in Kansas City, Missouri held an awards ceremony Thursday to honor Jason Smith, a 10-year-old boy who saved his brother's life during a horrible home break-in that left his mother and grandmother dead, Fox 4 News Kansas City reports.
Smith is the only person not employed by the police department to receive their prestigious life-saving award, which they bestowed in honor of his bravery and quick-thinking last summer on July 28.
Smith's ordeal started around 1:30 a.m. that morning, when he and his 2-year-old brother Zion were asleep with their grandmother. That's when Rufus Young, their mother's ex-boyfriend, burst into the house with a gun, KCTV reports.
Young shot the boys' grandmother while she was holding Zion in her arms, and then turned to find their mother, 36-year-old Naushay Riley. The boys' uncle Robert Hauer explained what happened next.
"That's when [Smith] moved [his grandmother's] leg from under Zion, kissed her, took her cell phone, got his brother and put him on his back," Robert Hauer told KMBC News. "He went to the first door (for help) and they didn't even open it. But he kept going. He kept going, then someone did open the door. That's heroic stuff."
The boy told reporters that he was determined to stay strong because he didn't want his brother to see the same things he saw. When Jason was two, he'd witnessed the death of his own father.
"I saw my Dad get shot and I didn't want [my brother] to go through the same situation I did. I didn't want him to see his dad shooting my mom and his mom so I decided to get him out of the house," Smith told KCTV News.
The station reported that Smith received a standing ovation from the crowd at the awards ceremony and his story brought tears to many people's eyes.
"My mom just taught me to be brave and be strong," Smith told reporters. "And that's what I'm trying to do."