Despite the massive amount of coverage dedicated to the Jacksonville Landing shooter, many of the victims will not remember David Katz as the center of the tragedy. They will recall the people they were with and the heroes that helped save their lives. Two of these heroes are Ronald Casey and Jordan Williams, and their stories are ones of bravery.
Casey, 30, was an attendee of the Madden NFL tournament, and had been sitting with two younger gamers when the shots rang out. When he felt a bullet ricochet near his head, he made the instantaneous decision to put his friends’ lives above his own. He immediately threw himself over the other two, shielding them from any bullets that might come their way.
Luckily, Casey and his companions emerged unharmed from the attack, but his bravery could have saved the lives of 18-year-old Joel Crooms-Porter and 25-year-old Matt Clark. It is harrowing to think that Casey could have died, but he told reporters that protecting his friends was the only thing on his mind.
“I’m 6’3″ and 360 pounds,” Casey told the Daily News. “I figured, if the gunman is going to come into our small area, he’ll have to shoot through me to get to them.”
His friends have not forgotten his actions, and their families haven’t either. While Crooms-Porter is still recovering from the emotional turmoil of the event, he told interviewers the following.
“I’m not mentally stable enough to talk about it much. I still haven’t cleaned the blood off of everything. But yeah, he did cover me.”
I can’t begin to thank you for covering my child. ????????♥️????????♥️????????♥️????????♥️
— Lisa Crooms-Robinson (@dean_lacr) August 27, 2018
While Ronald Casey was acting as a human shield, Jordan Williams was saving the life of Timothy Anselimo on a kitchen floor. According to WSAV, Williams pulled the bleeding Anselimo into the Hooters restaurant where he worked. He kept the 26-year-old calm while he applied pressure to his injuries, which included three gunshot wounds.
Once paramedics arrived, Anselimo was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Williams thought this might be the last time he saw Anselimo, as he did not know anything about him.
“I didn’t know his name, where he went or anything, then a news reporter from Atlanta called me and put me in contact with the hospital and his family. When I got there, we all just hugged and held each other, it was like one big family.”
He told the Anselimos that he “wasn’t going anywhere,” and that he and Timothy will always share a bond. Like many of those who step up during disasters, Williams denied the title of hero.
“Everyone’s looking at it like I’m a hero and everything like that, but I don’t look at it that way.”