Fort Knox soldiers save lives of stabbing victims
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – For three soldiers training at Ft. Knox, the last thing that they expected to do during a night out on the town was save a life.
“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” said Staff Sergeant Joshua Smith. “We were at that certain spot for a reason.”
Smith, along with Sergeant Micah Stoke, have been in training at Ft. Knox for several weeks. Sunday morning, they found themselves enjoying Fourth Street Live in Louisville around 2:30. By happenstance, as they were grabbing a bite to eat at a hot dog stand, they met with combat medic Staff Sergeant Katie Govoni.
“As we were ordering, that’s when we heard the screaming and yelling coming toward us,” Smith said.
Louisville Metro Police say 27-year-old Sherrie Snader and her 21-year-old sister Melissa were running away from the Papa Johns near Third and Liberty. They say the women were in town from Cincinnati to celebrate Sherri’s bachelorette party. Police say while hoping to order pizza at that Papa John’s, they were approached by 45-year-old Kalief Cummings, who allegedly stabbed them both.
“He approached them and tried to steal her purse,” Smith said. “That's when they were fighting back and that's when he stabbed both of them.”
As Sherrie and Melissa were desperate to find any help available, they happened to run up to the Army Sergeants. Soon, crowds began to gather to see what was going on but the soldiers' instinct took over. Smith said it was like going into auto pilot.
"We literally had to do CPR on the scene to get pulses back,” Govoni said. “We got her fully back, all signs of life, which I work EMS up in Boston and that’s completely rare and unheard of."
The soldiers were told by doctors at the hospital that if it weren’t for their actions, the bride to be and her sister could have both died. Both women are still recovering from puncture wounds in their lungs.
“I am very thankful for them and that they weren’t afraid to take action,” said Sherrie and Melissa’s father, Richard Snader.
Amazingly, and perhaps miraculously, the three soldiers are from different units, different parts of the country and had never worked together in any capacity before -- but when duty called, none of that mattered. Since that stabbing, the three soldiers have visited the thankful victims in the hospital.
“Seeing them in the hospital yesterday (Monday) was probably one of the best experiences of my life,” Stoke said. “To see them sitting up, smiling, laughing."
“I’m just glad that we were there,” Smith added. “I can’t express that enough.”
Sherrie was initially supposed be married this Saturday but that's been postponed for a few weeks. All three soldiers now have invitations to the ceremony.
The suspect in the stabbing, Kalief Cummings, pleaded not guilty to assault Tuesday morning.
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