johnny walker, houston deputy crash, homelessness
via GoFundMe and ABC 13

Good Samaritan Johnny Walker.

A sheriff’s deputy in Houston, Texas responded to a call about a robbery at a CVS on Wednesday night. When he arrived, he saw a man getting into a car that matched the description he heard on the scanner.

The deputy attempted to stop the man but he sped off, sparking a pursuit. The chase led the deputy to an intersection where he was involved in a crash with six other cars. Surveillance footage shows the deputy's car rocketing into a parking lot in front of a store.

The police car was mangled, wedged between two other vehicles, and it caught fire. A man experiencing homelessness was at the scene and rushed to help.

"I'm homeless. I was doing some work for someone. I was taking some tools back when I heard 'boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,'" Johnny Walker told ABC13. "I ran out here to see what it is and I saw a lot of cars, but I paid attention to the fire. My instincts were to go to that car and help him out, because he was crushed in on both sides."


Even though the car was smoldering, Walker bravely rushed over to assist.

"Sometimes you have to make a choice. That car was on fire. I could lose my life," Walker recalled.

While Walker put his life on the line, a crowd of people stood and stared.

"Nobody was trying to make an effort, so when I went on one side, couldn't get in. I jumped over the car, two more youngsters came and jumped behind me," Walker said. "We pulled him. I opened the door and got him out. We picked him up, put him over the car, took him inside the store."

The deputy was unconscious when they got him into the store to safety. "He came to when we were checking his pulse. I kept talking to him, 'Stay with us. Help is on the way,'" Walker added. An ambulance arrived on the scene and the deputy was taken to a local hospital.

Tragically, a woman died at the scene of the crash and two children were admitted to the hospital. "I think I was at the right place at the right time, being homeless," Walker said while tearing up. "I tried to help that lady. She passed though."

"I'm just thinking about them little kids," Walker continued.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says that the deputy is in stable condition and it is “praying that he makes a full recovery."

The suspect who was being pursued fled the scene and has yet to be apprehended.

Monica Collins and Johnny Walker.

via GoFundMe

When reports of Walker’s heroics hit the news, he was reunited with his family who had been looking for him since Christmas Eve. After hearing from numerous people who wanted to help, his sister, Monica Collins, set up a GoFundMe page to help him get counseling and a home.

“He’s a good-hearted person that has been through a lot of hard times,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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