Middle School Student Honored for Helping Wounded Friend

Rachell Otero was honored through the City of Miami Police Department’s “Do the Right Thing Program.”

A Redland Middle School student, who helped when another student was accidentally shot at school, was honored Tuesday by the City of Miami Police Department’s “Do the Right Thing Program.”

Rachell Otero stood on the stage to receive her plaque and remembered the day she helped out her friend, D’Angelo Marte.

Police said the incident happened after a gun, hidden in a classmate’s backpack, was fired accidentally when the backpack was dropped.

“I thought it was the desk that fell but I guess it was the gunshot,” Marte said. “Everyone was screaming and yelling.”

Marte was injured and as the chaos erupted only two friends stayed behind to help him. Otero and Pablo Sanchez, who could not make it to the ceremony, wrapped a T-shirt around Marte’s leg and kept him from losing too much blood.

“Pablo took off his shirt and gave it to Rachell and she put pressure on it until the ambulance came,” Marte said.

Otero said she was friends with Marte and wanted to help him.

“I was trying to stop the bleeding and after ten minutes passed I moved him and I was trying to stop the bleeding,” Otero said.

Marte’s family said they were grateful for the students who stayed behind to help.

“They could have ran out just like everyone else did but they risked their own lives and stayed behind with my son and I want to thank them very much for that,” said his mother, Tara Thorpe.

But Otero said she simply did it out of friendship.

“Like I went to that school and I was new. He was the first one to talk to me and we became best friends. Now we became even best friends because of that,” Otero said.

Although Marte still has the scars from the shot, he has learned to find the silver lining.

“Thanks for helping me,” he told his friend.

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