‘He died a hero’: Volunteer crossing guard loses life saving kids from oncoming SUV at middle school

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LAFAYETTE, CA- On Tuesday, September 7th, a dismissal at a middle school in Lafayette, California took a tragic turn when an SUV hit a volunteer crossing guard in front of the school.

The man, since identified as 45-year-old Ashley Dias, is now being hailed a hero as he gave his life to protect a young child from being hit by the oncoming SUV. Dias was a former Stanley Middle School student who went on to work in the information technology field in San Francisco.

According to his parents, Fabio and Gloria Dias, when Ashley came home to visit, he often volunteered as a crossing guard at his old junior high school. 

On Tuesday, September 7th, Ashley Dias was helping students cross the street safely when an oncoming SUV crashed into him and a young child at approximately 3 p.m. Gloria Dias said that her son rushed over to a group of students in the street just before the collision. She said:

“I met one of the fathers in the hospital and he said, ‘Your son saved my daughter’s life.’ He said she stopped by he walked in front of her to stop the car and the car just knocked him over and dragged him underneath.”

She recalled the parent saying:

“He is a hero and put his life on the line to save a student. He should definitely be remembered.”

Other witnesses backed up that same version of events. A sixth-graded identified as Stella Champion told ABC7 News:

“He was getting pulled out by the paramedics and he was getting CPR. I think there was a kid injured, but the crossing guard saved the kid.”

In a statement, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office confirmed that “one person was reported to be trapped under a vehicle,” adding:

“Lafayette police officers, who were assisted by citizens, were able to pull an unresponsive person out from under the vehicle. Officers administered CPR until relieved by fire department personnel.”

Ashley Dias was rushed to John Muir Hospital where he died of his injuries. Gloria Dias said:

“The father of one of the kids came to me, a doctor at John Muir Hospital, and he said, ‘if it wasn’t for your son, my daughter would be dead.’ He died a hero, but he’ll never come back to us. He’s gone.”

Fabio Dias said he is devastated by his son’s tragic death, saying:

“He was a great son. It is unbelievable. Just this morning we spoke to him. In the afternoon we spoke to him before he went at 2 o’clock for the crossing.”

Fabio Dias added that his son was even wearing a bright orange safety vest to make himself more visible to motorists. According to reports, the woman behind the wheel of the SUV is the grandmother of a student who attends Stanley Middle School.

Authorities stated that the woman’s grandchild was inside the vehicle when the crash occurred. Neither of them were injured in the collision. The woman’s son said:

“We are so incredibly sorry and devastated by this unthinkably horrible incident.”

Police stated that the driver is cooperating with the investigation. As of this writing, it is unclear if any charges will be filed. 

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Ohio man holding a baby opens fire on multiple women after car accident where there was no damage

September 4th, 2021

CINCINNATI, OH – A man opened fire on several women while holding a baby in his arms following a minor car accident on Wednesday.

Ladon Penn walks toward the victims while holding a gun and an infant (Photo: Cincinnati Police Department)
Ladon Penn walks toward the victims while holding a gun and an infant (Photo: Cincinnati Police Department)

Cincinnati police said District One officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired at Liberty and Winchell Avenue in the city. When officers arrived, they found a 54-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to her forearm.

While being treated at the scene, the victim told police that she had been in a minor traffic crash about 30 minutes prior, and the woman driving the other vehicle threatened her:

“I’m gonna go get my man, you better go get yours.”

After the threat was made, the other woman left the scene of the crash.

A short time later, according to a statement released by the Cincinnati Police Department, the other woman returned to the scene accompanied by 31-year-old Ladon Penn.

Ladon Penn fires at the victims while holding an infant (Photo: Cincinnati Police Department)
Ladon Penn fires at the victims while holding an infant (Photo: Cincinnati Police Department)

The victim told police that Penn exited the other woman’s car, walked into a nearby home, and exited carrying a handgun while holding an infant in his arms.

Police said:

“The victim says that Penn walked out of his car, walked into a home, and reappeared with a gun.”

Penn then walked toward the woman and began firing multiple shots at the victim and two other women with her. One bullet ricocheted and struck the victim. The police described the injury as a minor “graze.”

Ladon Penn (Photo: Cincinnati Police Department)
Ladon Penn (Photo: Cincinnati Police Department)

The suspect and the woman fled the scene in a vehicle following the shooting.

Penn was arrested shortly after the shooting when police stopped the suspect’s vehicle at Warsaw Avenue and Wilder Avenue. A 9mm handgun was recovered from the suspect.

Investigators found video footage that showed Penn “firing his gun while holding an infant.”

One screenshot of the video appears to show the baby clutching Penn’s left side as Penn holds the gun in his right hand. The baby appeared to have a cast on one arm.

Penn has been charged with three counts of felonious assault, child endangerment, and weapons under disability.

Police did not release any information on the identity of the other woman or the victim. The relationship between the infant and the actors was also not released.

Reactions to the press statement released by Cincinnati police on Twitter were sharp and direct.

Adonyo Emmanuel responded:

“Baby with broken arm? Mom, let me go and call my man{whatever that means} then Father shoots at an injured and further injured the traffic user. Is this toddler safe with the family?”

Another user said that stricter gun laws can not stop this type of behavior:

“The common sense (not to) shoot off a gun over a traffic accident. Laws won’t stop this.  This happens mostly in high gun law states. As a licensed gun carrier, I feel most comfortable in states with the least laws.”

One user, identified only as “Kristen,” said Progressive Democrats who call for alternatives to police and prisons are simply wrong:

“Well, the new push from the progressive Democrats is to have victims meet with a rehabilitate criminals who committed crimes against them.

“No thanks. You commit a crime against me, I want you in jail.  Jail is the nice word I’ll use.”

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Caught on doorbell camera: Man opens fire on Ohio deputy during suicide welfare check

March 17, 2021

 

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH – Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Sara Vaught is lucky to be alive following a harrowing shootout that was captured on a doorbell camera. The deputy was making a welfare check at a residence when the man pulled a gun and fired. 

 

The shooting took place Monday around 6:50 p.m. when deputies were called to a house on Hunt Club Drive in Deerfield Township for a well-being check on Lance Runion.  His brother had called 911 reporting Runion was suicidal:

“He kept telling me, ‘I just want to go to sleep. I just want to go to sleep,  I just know he’s in horrible shape. I’ve never heard him like this, just hopeless.”

The brother said that Runion had guns in the home, but said he did not think his brother would use them. 

Deputies with the Warrant County Sheriff’s Office responded to the address. Deputy Vaught stood on the porch while other deputies stood in the front yard. 

Deputy Vaught knocked on the door to the residence. When there was no response, the deputy radioed dispatch to obtain a garage code to access the home. 

https://twitter.com/pathofex/status/1362051903404863491

While talking with dispatch, Deputy Vaught calming radioed that Runion was coming to the door:

“Here he comes. Here he is, here he is. “

Runion opened the door and pointed a handgun at Deputy Vaught. 

Reacting quickly, Deputy Vaught dropped to a crotched position just as Runion fired without warning at her head. The shot barely missed the deputy and she returned fire. 

The uninjured deputy struck Runion several times. In the video of the incident, Vaught can be heard telling other deputies:

“I’m good, I’m good, I think, I think I’m good.”

The 56-year-old man was transported to a local hospital by EMS. He was listed in critical but stable condition. 

Runion has been charged with attempted murder and felonious assault.

Deputy Vaught has worked for the Warren County Sheriff’s Department for almost seven years. Per department policy, she has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. 

former University of Cincinnati Police Chief Gene Ferrara commented on the video in a local media interview:

“I remember one of the more senior officers saying police work was really 95% tedious boredom, punctuated by 5% of sheer terror. As I understand what happened here, that’s where it went.

“Hardly what you’d expect on a welfare check. The thing about police work is that you go from zero to 60 in about a half-second.”

Ferrara commended the actions of Deputy Vaught saying she followed training and procedures:

“You don’t have time to think about anything. So you have to react, and the reaction is based on whatever you’ve programmed into yourself through training. That’s really what I’m sure got her through that.”

 

 

 

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