David Husser was asleep in his Lincoln Park home earlier this month when he awoke to the sound of gunshots.
“It sounded like they were right outside my house,” Husser said about the May 6 shooting that left Dakotah Earley, a 23-year-old culinary student, fighting for his life. “I saw a man stand over him and then shoot him again.”
On Monday, Earley’s mother, Joy Dobbs, got to meet Husser for the first time and thank him for not only calling 911, but for also administering first aid and staying with her injured son while they waited for police and an ambulance.
“I wanted to meet the person that took the time and the courage to not only dial 911 but to come out and be with my son so that he was not alone,” Dobbs told reporters at City Hall, where Husser was being honored by Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd, in a news conference before the City Council meeting.
The Georgia resident said her son has always been careful and was “the nicest kid” and “so naive.”
“I never thought my son would be a hashtag,” Dobbs said. “This has just been wild.”
The alleged shooter was later identified as 19-year-old Tyshon Brownlee, who authorities said robbed five individuals in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park areas between 10 p.m. May 5 and 3 a.m. May 6. Last week, Brownlee appeared in court on charges of attempted murder and armed robbery, where he was ordered held without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
During the May 6 incident, Brownlee had approached Earley at approximately 3:05 a.m. in the 1300 block of West Webster Avenue, authorities said. He pointed a handgun at him and a struggle for the handgun ensued, until Brownlee got control of the gun and shot Earley twice in the back and once in the head, according to authorities.
“I thought they knew each other because I don’t know how anyone could just shoot someone like that,” Husser said.
While waiting for police and the ambulance, Husser, who found Earley face down and “in a lot of pain,” brought a first aid kit to the scene and assured Earley that help was on that way.
“He was the most seriously injured person I’ve ever seen in my life,” Husser said. “I wish I could have done more for him.”
Hopkins of the 2nd Ward praised Husser for his acts.
“Without knowing what was happening, he ran out his door to see if anyone needed assistance,” Hopkins said.
Dobbs said doctors are worried about Earley’s leg, which has already undergone two partial amputations.
Although Earley is still in quite a bit of physical pain, his spirit remains unbroken, his mom said. He’s been writing, making facial expressions and giving the thumbs up, she said.
“Dakatoh has all of Chicago pulling for him,” Dobbs said.”I like to read him the GoFundMe messages. His favorite is ‘Dakotah you’re a beast.’”
Dobbs said it’s Earley’s birthday on Tuesday, as well as her own.
“We’re just glad to be able to have that normal birthday together,” Dobbs said.
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