MANHATTAN — An army veteran is being rewarded by a stranger after taking a bullet to the stomach moments after rushing children to safety during a shootout in Harlem earlier this month.
Tony Grier stepped into action and it nearly cost him his life.
“All of a sudden shots just started springing out from everywhere,” Grier said.
The 59-year-old says his priority was getting the children out of harm’s way.
“We made sure the kids were hunkered down and we didn’t make our moves to cover ourselves until we knew the children were safe,” he said.
As soon as he heard the gunshots, he brought the kids inside a nearby bodega on Fifth Avenue and E. 118th street.
He got hit moments later.
“A good friend of mine from the military just told me to hold my post, ‘Don’t move. I’ll tell you when to move.’” Grier added. “The military kicked in as the bullets were flying over. I felt like I was 19 again.”
His bravery is now being rewarded by Attorney Lambros Lambrou of The Lambrou Law Firm who heard about what happened and reached out.
“You have a guy who served this country, he learned the things in training that he utilized here to protect some kids in the community,” Lambrou said. “It really was a story that touched me.”
He’s offering a vacation to anywhere Grier wants, so Grier is heading to Bristol, Virginia to visit family.
“We got him a roundtrip ticket,” Lambrou said. “He’ll be staying at the Bristol Hotel and anything he wants to do there is on us.”
Grier says he’s taking his wife, son, daughter, and two grandchildren to the waterpark.
Lambrou says the fact that Grier decided not to go to a tropical island but instead chose to go down south to visit family is a true testament to his character and speaks volumes on the type of person he is.