So-called Black Friday became genuinely dark in Atlanta, Georgia, this year. A German Shepherd named Noah gave his life trying to protect his family during an incident of road rage that involved a driver opening fire on a man standing in a strip mall.
The family wasn’t directly involved in the road rage incident. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a man named Hobart Austin was a passenger in a car almost hit by a Ford Taurus. After Austin argued with the driver of the Taurus, the driver followed Austin into a strip mall and began shooting at him.
The bullets missed Austin but struck a white van that was just pulling into the mall parking lot. Inside was a mother with her three children and Noah. Witnesses said that when gunfire shattered the windows of the van, Noah jumped straight out of the passenger window and ran toward the gunman.
“The dog took the bullet for the kids so the kids would be safe,” one of the witnesses told local TV station WXIA.
In the end, Noah was the only casualty of the incident. Security footage shows him retreating from the scene. He was later found dead behind a nearby building. “They survived that only to find that their pet is now gone,” police Sergeant Gregory Lyon told reporters. “It’s sad for the whole family, especially the day after Thanksgiving.”
Sad is a little bit of an understatement; the escalation from a fender-bender to what could have been a mass slaughter can best be described as a horrorshow. Yet, the courage of Noah jumping directly toward the source of danger was nothing short of extraordinary. Whether that act actually saved lives is hard to say, especially with the sparse information on the shooting available, but it was certainly a demonstration of extraordinary courage on Noah’s part. Our condolences go out to the family.