Six months ago, Rony Monzon became a hero when he jumped into the line of fire, taking three bullets and saving his friend's life.
Now, the 14-year-old has finally recovered from his injuries, just in time for the holidays.
On July 11, Monzon and his neighbor, 14-year-old Daneysi Valdovinos, were sitting outside their Southwest Chicago homes when an unidentified gang member opened fire on the teens. Monzon instantly jumped to his feet and flung himself in front of his friend. Three bullets, aimed for Valdovinos' head, struck Monzon in the arm, hip and chest, reported Sunny Skyz.
"He took the bullets," Valdovinos told the Chicago Sun-Times. "They would have hit me in the head, but he stood up in front of me and they hit him instead."
“I looked at myself. I was bleeding, and then I was worried about the bullet shot by my heart,” Monzon told CBS Chicago.
“That was the first thing I reacted to. Get in front (of her),” he added.
Now, six months after the shooting, Monzon has recovered from his injuries and continues to have a positive attitude about the incident. He jokingly refers to himself as 'The Terminator' -- someone indestructible to bullets.
“I’m lucky — very lucky,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It wasn’t meant for me,” he added. “The guy was looking the other way for someone else then he saw me and got scared and started shooting.”
On Tuesday, Monzon and Valdovinos told the Chicago Sun-Times about the trauma that has followed the shooting.
“When I’m in my room and when I go to sleep, I remember the shooter’s face and I get goose bumps,” Valdovinos said.
Still, Rony added, “It’s nice to be noticed -- our neighborhood doesn’t get talked about much.”
“I just want to move on from that, because I wouldn’t like to keep that in my head, so I won’t be feeling bad,” he said to CBS Chicago.
Since the incident, Monzon has received several awards for his heroism -- a framed plaque from the Cook County Board, a wooden trophy from the United States Army noting his "personal courage and selfless sacrifice," and a massive black-and-white photo awarded from Chicago Magazine of Monzon smiling, proclaiming him "Chicagoan Of The Year."
Monzon also started his freshman year at Phoenix Military Academy.
Detectives believe the July shooting was a case of mistaken identity but no arrests have been made.