Nurse held Fayette Mall shooting victim’s hand, comforted him before he died

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2020 at 10:49 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - WKYT’s Shelby Lofton spoke with one woman who jumped in to help a victim of Sunday’s mall shooting.

April Budd, a nurse from Lexington, went on a rare trip to the mall Sunday to buy a birthday gift for her boyfriend’s daughter.

“We were at Children’s Place when we heard the gunshots go off,” Budd said. She says she recognized the noise from past experiences, as she was a victim of her house being shot by gunfire two times by random shootings.

She says she ran to the back of the Children’s Place store, but minutes later, she turned around to run into the face of danger.

“We had seen the young man lying on the ground near the bath and body works store and I had seen somebody, a woman, that was trying to help him,” Budd said. The woman was also a nurse, Danielle Jones, who was doing chest compressions on 17-year-old Kenneth Wayne Bottoms Jr.

“I know it’s kind of exhausting to do CPR, I knew she would need help, so told my boyfriend I had to go help,” Budd said. “So I offered to take over compressions for her.”

Budd says she stayed with Bottoms, holding his hand, feeling for a pulse and comforting him while they waited for medics.

“Telling him to breathe, to hold on, that help was coming,” Budd said.

Budd says everything was a blur at the time, but she’s since been in contact with other people at the scene and family members of the victim.

“His mom called me to thank me the night that it happened, I’ve had numerous people reach out to me that knows him or is part of his family and everyone is extremely appreciative,” Budd said.

She says that heartbreaking call with his mom was one she’ll never forget.

“I have an 18-year-old son myself, so a lot of these kids are lost right now and if that was my son laying there, I would hope that somebody would be there to help him, that somebody would be there to hold his hand and to tell him to fight and not give up,” Budd said.

She says she left work early the next day, struggling with what she went through, but she feels a sense of duty.

“I’ll be back to nursing tomorrow,” she said.

Budd says one of the residents at her nursing home is related to Bottoms. She says she was grateful she could check on that person herself.

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