Marine jumps into action to rescue a teen from taking his own life

Marine: 'We were taught to run toward the sound of chaos'

By Brittany Muller - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Marine Corps recruiter’s quick reaction saved a young man from taking his own life at Lake Shore Middle School this month.

Sgt. Ivan Leon, a recruiter with Marine Corps Recruiting Station Jacksonville, said he was conducting physical training May 16 on the track with his group of future Marines at Lake Shore Middle when he heard screams for help.

“It was like a switch from day one. We were taught to run toward the sound of chaos, so as soon as I saw that and I saw him in distress, I just flip that switch and I acted as best as I could,” Leon said.

Leon said a 15-year-old was unresponsive after attempting to take his own life near the set of bleachers.

“I just instantly ran over and I tried to do my best to get him down and get him back to breathing,” Leon said.

His instincts immediately kicked in to help the young man before first responders arrived.

“When I got him down, he was unresponsive," Leon said. "If I was not there, I could have just imagined the worst that would have happened, but I’m very happy that I was there to take care of the situation."

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day 7 days a week and talk to a real person.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.