The Mt. Juliet Police Department awarded Kyle Shaw the Exceptional Citizen Award for his actions in saving a man’s life Aug. 9, 2017. He was presented with the honor during his school’s pep rally on Friday.
Shaw, a senior at Wilson Central High School, was coming home from school when he saw a man walking down the Central Pike overpass on Interstate 40 and climb over the rail.
Without hesitation, Shaw pulled his car over and walked to the man. Shaw grabbed hold of him, hugging him tight and calling the police.
According to Shaw, the man didn’t seem scared, just depressed and saying he didn’t want to be here anymore. Shaw knew the man was serious about jumping into oncoming traffic because he had already seen the man attempt it twice.
While Shaw waited for Mt. Juliet police to arrive, the man struggled to break free. If he had attempted to jump, the man could have easily pulled Shaw with him. That thought didn’t cross Shaw’s mind until later; all he knew was that he needed to stop the man from hurting himself.
“He wouldn’t have made it if he jumped,” said Shaw.
When MJPD arrived, officers were able to diffuse the situation and get the man the help he needed. According to police, the man is doing well today.
Though the situation is one that should never have to be repeated, Shaw said he would do it again, despite the danger he put himself in.
Police Chief James Hambrick presented Shaw with the honor during Wilson Central’s pep rally Oct. 20.
“No matter how young or old you are, anyone can do exceptional things in life,” said Chief Hambrick. “Kyle is a prime example of just that, and he should be commended for his exceptional actions.”
Shaw was also given a challenge coin, a medallion traditionally given to officers in recognition of a special achievement.
If you are feeling depressed or having suicidal thoughts, Shaw urges you to talk to someone and get help.
“There’s more options than killing yourself,” said Shaw.