Boy, 7, Saved Mom's Life After Bridge Shooting
Wounded mother told son to run for help
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2015 2:42 AM CDT
A family enters a prayer service being held for victims killed in a shooting spree Monday, May 4, 2015, in Neenah, Wis.   (Wm. Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via AP)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A little boy who went out for a bike ride with his family in Menasha, Wis., ended up running to save his mother's life after a stranger opened fire on Sunday, police say. After Sergio Daniel Valencia del Toro, a 27-year-old man apparently upset by the end of a relationship, started shooting on the Fox Cities Trestle Trail Bridge, wounded mom Erin Stoffel managed to get her son Ezra, 7, and daughter Selah, 5, off the bridge and told Ezra to run for help, the Post-Crescent reports. The boy met an unidentified man who called for help. "It was a little boy who helped save his mother's life," the coroner says. Stoffel was shot three times in the attack; her husband, Johnathon, and 11-year-old daughter, Olivia, were killed.

"You can never underestimate the power of a mother to protect her children," the director of trauma services for Theda Clark Medical Center tells the Post-Crescent. "To have three gunshot wounds and be able to get off that bridge and save two of her children is incredible. It's an amazing story of heroism on her part and certainly of her children." Another man, 31-year-old Adam Bentdahl, was killed in the attack, and police say he also appears to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time, the AP reports. Police say that Valencia del Toro, an Air Force veteran who recently enlisted in the US Army, opened fire unprovoked and at close range before fatally shooting himself, the Post-Crescent reports. He had been in a fight with his ex-fiancee earlier in the day.