Student receives JROTC Medal of Heroism for helping save shooting victim's life

"It's the highest award given in JROTC," said Commandant LTC Russell Gallagher.

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Saturday, January 7, 2023
Student receives award for helping save shooting victim's life
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Cadet 2nd Lt. Kaheem Bailey-Taylor was leaving his cousin's birthday party in North Philadelphia when he suddenly heard multiple gunshots and went back to help.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On Friday afternoon, 17-year-old Cadet 2nd Lt. Kaheem Bailey-Taylor was honored for potentially saving someone's life.

"It's the highest award given in JROTC," said Commandant LTC (R), Russell Gallagher, Ed.D., Philadelphia Military Academy.

Back on August 17, Bailey-Taylor, who is a student at the Philadelphia Military Academy, said he was leaving his cousin's birthday party in North Philadelphia when he suddenly heard multiple gunshots and went back to help where he found four people shot.

"I ran in there, started assessing, started doing triaging and I felt as though one of the people that I saved had the most injuries that could be fatal," said Bailey-Taylor.

That person is still alive, which could be because of the student, who learned first aid training in school.

"The person who gets it, must do something either heroic or put their lives in danger, something that others would not normally do and he did that. He didn't think of himself he thought of his friends and family," said Gallagher, who put him up for the award.

Bailey-Taylor was honored in his school's auditorium in front is his peers and family. He received the JROTC Medal of Heroism. His grandmothers said he's a selfless person.

"I was like so proud of him like I was just crying, wow," said Andrea Taylor-Plowden.

"He would sacrifice his almost his life to save someone else speaks volumes to what kind of person he is," said Valerie Bailey.

His mother said she always knew he was special.

"He is, who he is, that's my shining star. He's been moving fast and maturing all his life," said his mother Chantel Taylor.

Bailey-Taylor says his work isn't finished and now he wants to work to prevent gun violence from happening in Philadelphia.

"Moments like this, it's sad that I got the highest medal because somebody got shot, but it's time to use this platform to advocate for gun violence because it shouldn't be something that teenagers are experiencing," said Bailey-Taylor.

As for what's next, he hopes to one day become a federal agent.