Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Wednesday presented a posthumous “Hero of the Month” award and ceremonial wreath to 15-year-old Brooklyn-born student Peter Wang, who was tragically killed while bravely holding the door open in his classroom at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl, so that his classmates could escape a mass shooter.
On Feb. 14, a 19-year-old assailant opened fire using an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle resulting in the death of 14 students and three staff members.
Wang was a freshman at the school and had moved from Brooklyn to Parkland a year-and-a-half ago with his Chinese immigrant parents so that he could join the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program at the school.
Joined by the parents of fallen New York City Police Department (NYPD) Detective Wenjian Liu, Wei Tang Liu and Xiu Yan Li, Adams praised Wang, his “Hero of the Month” for February, for his courageous action amid the senseless gun violence that ultimately claimed his life.
“Peter was a Brooklynite, an American, and a true hero,” Adams said. “It is my honor to salute him for his selflessness and bravery, which undoubtedly saved many lives.”
At the same ceremony, held in the Rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall, Adams also presented “Heroes of the Month” honors for the months of January, March and April.
He recognized HITN [Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network] TV president and chief executive officer Mike Nieves, a son of Puerto Rican immigrants from Bushwick, as his January “Hero of the Month” for the comprehensive relief effort he organized through his Brooklyn Navy Yard-based television station in the wake of Hurricane Maria, including thousands of dollars in donations and the coordination of deliveries to communities in need.
His March “Hero of the Month” award was presented to NYPD School Safety Officer Tamara Jenkins, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident, who successfully used the Heimlich maneuver to save a choking fourth-grade student at PS 241 STEM Institute of Manhattan in Harlem on March 28.
For April’s “Hero of the Month,” Adams honored Bensonhurst native Jamil Luis Cruz, a Brooklyn College student and Eagle Scout, who, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) while in basic training for the United States Navy, has worked to raise awareness and research funds to combat the disease, including a fundraising walk taking place this Sunday in Hell’s Kitchen.