JROTC cadet to receive Medal of Heroism for saving friend’s life

The 17-year-old Philadelphia Military Academy junior says he rescued his wounded friend, using his first-aid training

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A cadet at the Philadelphia Military Academy will receive the Medal of Heroism Friday for saving a classmate wounded by gunfire last summer.

It was last August when Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Kaheem Bailey-Taylor was leaving a family birthday party in Strawberry Mansion. Suddenly, gunfire erupted from inside the house and a classmate who was with him was shot in the back.

The 17-year-old Philadelphia Military Academy junior says he ran toward the gunfire and rescued his wounded friend, using his first aid training.

“I started applying more pressure and put my fingers inside his wounds to stop him from bleeding out,” he said.

Bailey-Taylor stayed with his friend as police transported them to the hospital. He says all he could think about at the moment was getting someone he considered family out of the gunfire and to safety, by any means.

“Inside the police car, one thing that I think I will never forget is when he said, Bailey-Taylor, please don’t let me die.”

The friend eventually recovered. Lieutenant Colonel Russell Gallagher, commandant of the Philadelphia Military Academy, says the Medal of Heroism is the ROTC’s highest honor.

“The person receiving it has to do something that puts his or her life in danger,” he said.

Bailey-Taylor says he now wants to use his platform as the award recipient to demand action against gun violence.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Philadelphia School District