An 11-year-old boy in Safford, Arizona was hospitalized Friday after being stung more than 400 times by Africanized bees, according to the Fox 6 Now.
Relatives say when Andrew Kunz and his friend were outside shooting their BB guns at an old, abandoned truck, which was parked in a desert near his home, they missed their target and mistakenly hit a hive filled with Africanized bees, which are known as the killer bees.
The boys, who were now surrounded by a swarm of bees, tried to run up a hill but it was alleged that Andrew fell and curled into a fetal position to protect himself from the killer bees. As he was being stung more than 400 times, he was able to call his grandmother, Petrea Kunz, saying “the bees are killing me, the bees are killing me.”
When Graham County Sheriff’s Office, Safford Police, and the Safford Fire Department arrived at the scene, Andrew was nowhere to be found. Fire Chief Clark Bingham said, “I know where this kid is at, he’s with the bees.”
Without uncertainty, Bingham -– who is seemingly allergic to bees -– ran into the swarm and pulled Andrew to safety while using his belt to fight off the Africanized bees.
— 3TV Phoenix (@azfamily) February 22, 2017
“He realized he couldn’t get him up the hill so he just grabbed his belt loop and his arm and said Andrew we’ve got to get out of here,” said Patrea.
Andrew was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition.
The Fire Chief was stung more than 20 times on his face, arms, neck, and ear. He was admitted to the hospital for observation and was released the following day.
A deputy, who assisted in the rescue, was stung over 100 times but he is expected to be okay.
“The fact that he would be willing to give his life for my grandson and that’s truly what he was willing to do. He is a true hero,” said the boy’s grandmother.
Kreg Kunz, who is the boy’s grandfather, added that “we don’t have too many people like that in the world anymore.”
It was reported that the City of Safford contrives to “award Bingham a medal of valor for his efforts.” The Kunz family are hoping to be there.
Kreg went on to say that “these bees, they don’t stop. They just coming and swarm and keep coming and coming and coming. A little kid doesn’t have much of a chance against them.”
After being stung more than 400 times, relatives say Andrew is swollen from head to toe and his head “looked like a pin cushion” as he was stung in the face at least 200 times.
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) February 23, 2017
Doctors say his condition has improved. Andrew is breathing on his own again and will be able to return home as soon as his toxin levels are down.
He may even be able to return to school as soon as Monday.
“He’s still fighting. He’s our fighter,” said the boy’s grandfather.
Andrew said, “It felt like 400 bullets were shooting me” when he was stung by the Africanized bees. He said he remembers trying to run away from the killer bees, but he says he doesn’t remember much of what happened after that.
“This isn’t my real face,” he said. “It’s just numb.”
From Andrew’s hospital bed, he thanked the “whole fire department” and the police for saving his life.
There have been no reports on the condition of Andrew’s friend, who was able to run away from the swarm of Africanized bees while Andrew was being stung more than 400 times.
Experts say if you find yourself being attacked by Africanized bees, you should “run in a straight line, and going against the wind helps slow them down. Most healthy people can outrun an angry swarm.”
[Featured Image by fpwing/iStock]