I just acted:’ Tallmadge hero receives national Carnegie Award at local ceremony

Seth Bond doesn’t have any combat or medical training, but that didn’t matter on June 16, 2019, when he and two other people risked their own lives to save a 23-year-old mother and her three young children who were being attacked by the woman’s ex-partner.

“There wasn’t any time to think,” Bond said. “I just acted.”

Bond’s heroism, along with that of Jason Strunk of Canton and Leslie Shaffer of Akron, ultimately saved four lives, has now been recognized by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

The commission awards civilians who selflessly “enter mortal danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.”

On Tuesday, Tallmadge Mayor David Kline, on behalf of the commission, presented Bond with the Carnegie Medal in a small ceremony at City Hall. He will also receive a $5,500 financial reward.

Strunk and Shaffer declined in-person ceremonies and will receive their accolades in the mail. Since 1904, the commission has issued more than 10,000 Carnegie Awards and over $40 million to heroes in the United States and Canada.

“It’s people like you that make this a safer place to live,” Kline said.

That evening in 2019, Bond and Strunk jumped out of their cars when they saw a mother, who had been shot in the back by her ex-partner, attempting to shield her children. Strunk, a group home supervisor, positioned himself between the woman and the gunman, while Bond removed his shirt and held it against the woman’s wound.

The assailant reached around Strunk and shot the mother a second time and then pointed the gun at Bond’s head as he continued to render aid.

Strunk and Bond grappled with the gunman, who eventually produced a knife. Strunk placed two children in his car while Shaffer, a certified nursing aide, took the mother and the third child into her vehicle. Bond, meanwhile, continued to fight with the gunman, who fled, and ultimately fatally shot himself.

The mother was hospitalized but recovered. The children, Bond, Shaffer and Strunk were unharmed.

“It was just natural reflex. I’m just glad they’re alright,” said Bond, who has not been in contact with the family since the incident.

Bond grew up in Goodyear Heights and has lived in Tallmadge off and on for about 10 years. Shortly after the incident, he had a seizure and learned at the hospital that he had been battling leukemia. He has been in remission since last year.