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Teen saves family from Aurora theater gunman

10:49 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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The teen used his body as a shield to protect a mother and her two young children. The family was unharmed, but Jarell Brooks ended up in the hospital with a gunshot wound.

Brooks says he and his six other siblings grew up with strong morals and values.

"We've always been raised to treat people like you want to be treated and to do what you would want others to do to you," Brooks' brother D'Yonn James said.

Those same values were with Brooks on the night the gunman walked into theater 9 and opened fire. He was sitting next to a woman with an infant son and young daughter. He didn't know the woman, but he noticed she was a single mom.

"When I tried to crawl and escape that was the first time I saw Patricia by herself with her kids," Brooks said. "She was actually bent down on the floor shielding her kids."

He could have left the theater and saved himself, but instead the lessons he learned as a kid came to mind. He wanted to do what was right.

"I started to guide her out to the isle," Brooks said. "I was shielding her while she was shielding her kids. It wasn't until she actually stood up and I had to stand up after her when I was actually hit."

Brooks was shot in the thigh but continued to protect the woman and her children. She and her kids made it out of the theater unharmed. Brooks was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for his gunshot wound.

"The whole time I was thinking if I just leave them there what is my conscious going to think afterwards? Knowing there was a mother trying to protect her two children and then later I find out they were seriously injured or worse," Brooks said." I wouldn't be able to deal with that,"

Being treated for a gunshot wound is the best trade off, Brooks says. He is surrounded by his family who love him and cheer him up. His younger brother says they're all there reminding him that if he ever feels like he's not strong enough to heal, they'll carry him the rest of the way.

"Life can never be taken for granted," Brooks said. "The moments that we have, that [God] blesses us with everyday, should never be taken for granted."

Brooks' doctors expect him to make a full recovery. He is expected to leave the hospital by Thursday morning.

If you are interested in making a contribution to the Jarell Brooks go to: http://www.indiegogo.com/jarellthehero

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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