PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police Officer Daniel Mead was one of the first responders who ran into the Tree of Life Synagogue to try to save lives.
He ended up getting shot in the wrist and spent several days in the hospital. Now, his sister is telling his story.
For Diane Mead, last Saturday morning started out like any other. She talked to her brother on the phone.
There was nothing special about Saturday morning. Diane Mead did what she always does. Talked to her brother Pittsburgh Police officer Dan Mead on the phone.
“Saturday morning, I was talking on the phone to my brother, Danny, at actually 9:47 a.m., and he was going to roll call at 10 [a.m.],” said Diane.
The next time she heard from her brother was about 20 minutes later.
“He had called me from the ambulance. He said, ‘I’ve been shot. They blew my hand off. I saw the guy at the door, and all I hear was pop, pop, pop.’ And he kept repeating himself,” Diane said.
At that moment, Diane had no idea the guy was Robert Bowers, or that the shooting was at the Tree of Life Synagogue, or that 11 people had been killed.
“The biggest thing for me was, I didn’t know if he was going to live from his description. My biggest thing was to get to him, to tell him that I love him,” she said.
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Mead and his partner arrived at the Tree of Life Synagogue uncertain of who they were looking for.
“He said he was coming around the corner, and he could see smoky glass, and there was one pane he didn’t have an angle on,” Diane said. “When he came around the corner, there was a white male, standing there with a gun pointed at him, and he heard, ‘pop, pop, pop, pop’ and he went down. Can you imagine that?”
Officer Mead is expected to make a full physical recovery, but his road will be difficult.
“He actually had a bullet that entered his wrist and came out on the other side, and, obviously, a lot of fractures, shattering bone, and pins were put in. We’re anticipating two to three surgeries with six to nine months of rehab,” Diane said.
While in the hospital, Officer Mead was one of the victims to meet with President Donald Trump and the First Lady.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:
The world sees Officer Mead now as a hero, but he sees himself as simply Dan Mead from Brookline.
“I know he’s a hero. I know he is. He went running to those people. He went running to them. I don’t know if I could have done that,” Diane said.