He stepped in to protect a woman from gunfire.
Tony Bartosiewicz, 70, happened to be near Annika Dean, a Florida school teacher, when the shooting began. Dean, who said the gunman closed in on where she was, instinctively got on the ground for cover.
That’s when Bartosiewicz stepped in and lay on top of her to protect her, the Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
“He basically climbed on top of me and whispered, ‘I will protect you,’” said Dean, 42. “I knew he might be a victim, but I also knew I would survive.”
The mother of two said she was waiting for her luggage when she heard the shots. There was nowhere to hide.
“There was no way I could have escaped,” she said, according to the Miami Herald. “I would have been right in his path if I had tried to evacuate through the doors.”
Dean said that after the police arrived and it was clear that the gunman had been detained, she and Bartosiewicz got up from the floor, unharmed.
“The first thing I said to him was I thanked him and told him that it was terrifying and what he did brought me comfort, that it was just so comforting,” she said, reported the Herald. “I thanked him throughout the day and told him he was a hero.”
Bartosiewicz could not immediately be reached for comment. The Sentinel did reach Bartosiewicz’s daughter, Jenny Miller, who said that was just the kind of man her father was.
“He would do something like this without thinking,” she told the Sentinel.
What a commendable act of bravery in the face of danger.