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Man Braves Gunfire To Rescue Baby With AM-Boston Sniper

August 31, 1987

BOSTON (AP) _ A tow truck driver who had been taking his family on an outing braved gunfire Sunday to pull a critically wounded 3-year-old girl from the porch of a house at the scene of a shooting that left six people dead.

″I was a little scared but to me that little girl’s life was worth a lot more than my life,″ said Joe Munroe, 27, visibly shaken after his brush with the gunman who kept police at bay for two hours.

Munroe said he may have been motivated by the thought of his own daughter, who is about the same age as the girl he saved. He also has an 8-year old son.

″I know I’m going to have bad nightmares about this, but the thought of seeing a baby killed - it does things to people’s minds,″ he said.

Munroe and his family had planned to spend their day in Boston’s Faneuil Hall, but as he drove his truck to his brother’s house, in the neighborhood of the shooting, he a man get shot and a woman lying on the ground.

He continued down the street and saw the girl and a woman shot as they ran across the from the house where the gunman fired. Both reached the porch of the house across the street, where they fell.

″The 3-year old baby, I saw the back of her head being blown open,″ he said.

The gunman fired twice at the tow truck, said Munroe, who dropped his family at his brother’s house and circled back to the house where the girl and a woman lay.

Munroe says he lay low across the truck’s seat, jumped from the passenger side and ran to the porch.

When he reached the child and turned her over, he saw she was crying. ″I don’t know what language she was speaking. To me she was saying ’Help,‴ Munroe said.

He said he grabbed the child and ran up the street, where his 22-year-old sister, Donna, was waiting. His sister took the girl, shot twice in the head and once in the shoulder, to waiting paramedics, said Boston paramedic Juli Nichols.

Munroe said he returned to the porch to check the woman, who he believes was the child’s mother. As he checked for a pulse, a woman from inside the house stuck her head out and warned him to ″look out.″

Munroe pushed the woman’s head back inside the window and turned to see ″the man was ready to put a bullet in me,″ he said.

When Munroe saw the gun barrel, he jumped over the porch and ran down the alley as a shot rang out. ″When he shot at me on the porch - that was enough,″ he said.

Munroe went to the paramedics and told them the woman on the porch was dead.

Hours after the shootings Munroe was still searching for the unidentified woman who saved his life. ″I was going to thank her,″ he said.

The injured girl, identified as Phuong Huynh of Medford, a cousin of the gunman’s, was reported in critical but stable condition Sunday evening at New England Medical Center.

The 23-year-old gunman, whom police have not identified, shot himself to death after killing four relatives and one family friend and wounding the girl and another cousin, police said.

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