Jewish Nurse Explains Why He Saved The Life Of The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter
"I am The Jewish Nurse. Yes, that Jewish Nurse" Ari Mahler's Facebook post began, outing himself as the trauma nurse in the ER that cared for Robert Bowers.
Bowers killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh Synagogue on 27 October this year, before police fired back, wounding him.
As he was wheeled into the hospital, Bowers yelled 'Death to all Jews'. Mahler - a Jew and the son of a Rabbi - followed close behind, to save the shooter's life.
News networks across America got wind of his incredible act of kindness and compassion, and ran with it.
"I've watched them talk about me on CNN, Fox News, Anderson Cooper, PBS, and the local news stations. I've read articles mentioning me in the NY Times and the Washington Post" Mahler wrote. "So now, here I am, The Jewish Nurse that cared for Robert Bowers."
Mahler wasn't doing it for the kudos. In fact, he'd stayed quiet for more than a week after the shooting. He'd experienced anti-semitism his entire life. As a kid, swastikas were drawn on his locker, and notes were shoved inside saying 'Die Jew. Love, Hitler.' He was understandably scared.
"To be honest, I'm nervous about sharing this. I just know I feel alone right now, and the irony of the world talking about me doesn't seem fair without the chance to speak for myself."
Mahler went on, to tell the story in his own words.
"To be honest, I didn't see evil when I looked into Robert Bower's eyes."
"I'm sure he had no idea I was Jewish. Why thank a Jewish nurse, when 15 minutes beforehand, you'd shoot me in the head with no remorse? I didn't say a word to him about my religion."
So, why and HOW did he do it?
"Love. That's why I did it. Love as an action is more powerful than words, and love in the face of evil gives others hope."
Mahler's actions and words, spread that love. His post has been shared more than 150 thousand times since the weekend and the response has been overwhelming.
"I just want to say that I'm truly in disbelief, but all the more grateful, for the outpouring of love and support. On some levels I feel vulnerable for sharing my heart with the world. I had no idea it would reach so many people. Regardless of my own insecurities, however, I believe it was a message that needed to be shared."
Amen to that.