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FOX CHAPEL, Pa. (KDKA) – It’s a message so many parents preach to their children – if you see something, say something.
One local boy came to the rescue of a girl after he saw her disturbing Snapchat post, and police said he likely saved her life.
People all over the country are now reaching out to 12-year-old Gabe Rongier.
The boy scout from Fox Chapel recently spotted a troubling remark from an East Texas girl on Snapchat. They only had one mutual connection, so he didn’t know the girl. But his intuition was to step in and take action after the young girl posted that she “wouldn’t be here tomorrow.”
Gabe said she sounded desperate and suicidal, so his compassion and concern led him to make a phone call.
“I called the suicidal prevention services and it linked me to Officer Chandler (in Texas.)” Rongier told KDKA’s Kym Gable.
Officer Chandler is a patrolman at the Grand Saline Police Department in East Texas.
“He went to her house, checked up on her,” Gabe said. “The next day he called me and said, ‘she’s fine. It’s real.'”
Investigators told Gabe’s parents, Fred and Lori, that they used geotracking to locate the girl’s residence and that they arrived in time to intervene.
“I was almost shocked to see it was a true story,” said Fred Rongier. “I didn’t believe it at first, but I had to believe it. It’s really true.”
“Of course, I’m very proud of him, but I really hope that other young people his age might see the story and also be inspired to also take action to help somebody in need just like Gabe did,” said Lori Rongier.
Gabe aspires to be a SWAT officer someday, so when a package arrived from the New Saline Police Department, he was thrilled. It contained a police patch, a letter from Officer Chandler, and a traditional law enforcement coin called a “Challenge Coin.”
“When he went to bed, I always kiss him and, I’ve been telling him since that day, ‘you’re my little hero,'” Fred Rongier said.
“I feel relieved that she’s OK,” said Gabe.
“I feel like I did something good.”
What an understatement.