Chicago Police Officers John Conneely and Michael Modzelewski are being hailed as heroes for breaking department protocol and, in doing so, saving an 11-month-old shooting victim's life.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the two men were among the first repsonders dispatched to a quintuple shooting in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Chicago's South Side on Monday night.
Among the five people shot was Princeton Chew, whose mother and grandmother were killed in the violence that came in a rash of 14 shootings in 15 hours, NBC Chicago reported. A woman ran to Conneely and Modzelewski holding the bleeding child in her arms. That's when they knew that they had to act.
Officer John Conneely described the split-second actions he and his partner took to NBC Chicago: "We were approached by the woman carrying the 11-month-old who was bleeding and crying, screaming and everything like that, and with no ambulances on the scene we decided to make the decision to get this child to the hospital as quickly as we could to try to save his life."
The Tribune reported that the two officers drove nine miles to the hospital with Modzelewski holding the bleeding infant in the back seat while Conneely steered one-handed, while radioing to inform the hospital that they were en route.
But doing so meant breaking department protocol.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy discussed the breach of policy at a press conference held the next day. "They made a decision, and honestly it goes against protocol, to remove a victim from the scene unless it's a dire circumstance," the Tribune reported McCarthy saying. "But they made a decision, as it turns out it probably saved a life."
The officers made it into the hospital, where emergency medical personnel took over, the Tribune said.
"It was just kind of a split-second decision that you know maybe we need to take action right now or maybe if we wait the outcome wouldn't be as positive," Officer Modzelewski told NBC.
The officers spoke about the incident at a press conference, but denied being heroes.
"This is just a very small sliver of something that police officers do all over the country that never gets any type of recognition," Conneely said in this video posted by the Chicago Sun-Times on YouTube. "Stories like this happen all the time that never get recognized."
The Tribune reported that the two men planned to visit the baby in the hospital.
Watch the video below: