Hero student shot helping victim speaks out from hospital bed
BATON ROUGE- A teenager now labeled a hero who stopped to help a woman who was dumped on the side of the road is speaking out from his hospital bed after he was shot twice by the gunman who killed her.
Daniel Wesley, 17, recalled the gunman Terrell Walker telling him he was going to kill him.
"The man got out and he yelled, if you're helping her, you're going to die too," Wesley said.
Wesley came face to face with Walker and lived to talk about it. Wesley said he had just stumbled upon April Peck's lifeless body when he was leaving the mall. He was heading home and was driving down Essen Lane when he made the discovery. Wesley comes from a family of first responders and is currently in a first responder class at Central High School.
"I was thinking I had to stay alive, Wesley said. "I wasn't going to die. It was just one of those intuition feelings."
Wesley has undergone two surgeries to repair broken bones and gunshot wounds. While we were there, he was having a blood transfusion after losing so much blood.
Wesley's heroism caught the attention of Governor John Bel Edwards and his wife Donna. They paid him a visit today.
"He was like you're a hero to everybody and you've influenced so many people," Wesley recalled the Governor telling him. "He told me not to give up on being an EMT, and I said that might be out of the question but the medical field, that's definitely not."
Wesley recalled the Governor asking him if there was anything he wanted. His request was fulfilled big time.
"They got me root beer," Wesley said. "They said what's the one thing you want? I said i want a vending machine full of root beer, and I got a bunch of root beer."
There was also another surprise visitor. One that mustered up a lot of courage. Today, Terrell Walker's cousin paid Wesley a visit.
"She's like I don't know how you're going to take this but I'm related to Terrell... I'm his cousin," Wesley recalled. "I'm so sorry this happened to you."
Wesley said he told Walker's relative this, which gave her peace.
"I'm not mad at him," Wesley said. "It happened. I can't change it. You can't change it. You weren't there to change it. There's no use in holding a grudge."
Tonight, Wesley's long road to recovery is just beginning. He took his first steps today, two to be exact. As Wesley tries to recover, he has so many questions like many others.
"If he was still alive I'd ask him why," Wesley said. "I'd tell him I forgave him. After he answered, but I'd ask him why."
Walker was killed in a shootout with deputies. He had a history of mental illness and was committed by the Coroner's Office in 2005. Peck was Walker's live in girlfriend.