10/01/2013 07:11 pm ET

Abdul Haji, Kenya Mall Hero, Reunited With Family He Saved (VIDEO)

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A grateful mom had the chance to meet the man to whom she owes her, and three daughters’ lives, TODAY reported.

When the Westgate Mall shooting -- which claimed at least 67 lives -- broke out last month, Katherine Walton ducked for cover under a table with her three young daughters and hoped for a miracle, the Telegraph first reported. That miracle came in the form of Abdul Haji, the son of a former security minister, who burst onto the scene helped save four members of the Walton family.

Haji’s incredible bravery was caught in a stunning Reuters photo when he coaxed Walton’s 4-year-old daughter, Portia, into coming towards him. He then helped bring Walton and her two younger daughters to safety, too.

Walton -- who was separated from her two boys at the mall, but reunited with them once she escaped -- had the chance to thank the man on Sunday who saved her and three of her kids.

“Abdul Haji and a group of just regular men with some plainclothes police officers, they risked their lives and came in and rescued us,’’ Walton told Matt Lauer on Monday. “And it wasn’t just me: They went through the mall floor by floor, shop by shop, and got so many people out of the mall. We got to meet him last night, and it was such a wonderful reunion.”

But Haji, who helped a number of of other people escape and provided fire cover for Red Cross workers, said he also sees Portia, one of the little girls he saved, as a hero.

"This little girl is a very brave girl," he told the Guardian. "Amid all this chaos around her, she remained calm, she wasn't crying and she actually managed to run towards men who were holding guns. I was really touched by this and I thought if such a girl can be so brave ... it gave us all courage."



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