A fisherman is being hailed as a hero after he prevented a horrific crime from turning into a far worse tragedy when he helped save four children from a car submerged in a river.
The stunning incident occurred on Monday evening in Sacramento, California.
Harrell Fischer recounted his actions in an interview with KOVR-TV.
Fischer said that he was working on his boat near the Sacramento River when he heard gunshots and saw the car veer off the road into the water. He and a friend made their way to the boat and were startled when they opened one of the doors.
"We opened that door, and I saw that little face looking at me, oh my God, I melted," he said emotionally.
"I said 'no,' and then I saw little hands poking out of the sides too. Man, I was devastated," he added.
Fischer and his friend then jumped into the water to help pluck the four children from the submerged car. The children ranged from 2 to 6 years old.
"I just went into survival mode, I just started yanking kids out, just trying to go after the kids, you know, make sure the kids were OK," he said.
"I grabbed my coat and told them to get in a little circle, get in as tight as they could, cause they were cold and I wanted their body heat to keep them warm too," Fischer continued. "I put my coat around them, they were all devastated, they were in shock."
Fischer told KOVR-TV that a man in the car allegedly got out and refused to help them. Police later arrested that man, Mandiko Kwadzo, who is the father of three of the four children. He has been charged with murder.
"Although the motive for the shooting is not yet known, detectives believe the male shot the female while she was driving, causing her to veer the vehicle into the river," the sheriff's office said in a statement released after the arrest of Kwadzo.
Investigators told KOVR that the mother had been shot in the head in front of her children.
"I'm glad that I was there, but I hate that I was there," Fischer said. "You know? I hate that I had to see that, but I'm glad that I got to protect those kids a little bit and get them out of harm's way."
Here's the interview with Fischer from KOVR-TV:
Good Samaritan Saves 4 Kids After Father Shoots Their Mother While Driving www.youtube.com