'I was just trying to do what I could do': Albertans recognized for acts of bravery

Benjamin Prince was standing outside of a northeast Edmonton pub when multiple shots were fired on May 31 last year.

His friend Justin Allen, 28, was hit by one of the bullets. He collapsed in front of Prince, who was working that night as the pub's bouncer. 

Prince jumped into action and administered CPR on Allen for approximately 10 minutes while a female bystander applied pressure on the wound.

Allen would die later that night in hospital on the operating table.

Prince said he wanted to help Allen while others scattered from the scene.

Phil Laplante Jr./CBC Edmonton

"I had met him before, and I think of him as a friend. I look at it as helping a friend out," he said Monday.

"I was just trying to do what I could do."

Prince was one of 30 people recognized for their acts of bravery by the Royal Canadian Humane Association on Monday at Edmonton police headquarters.

Prince was awarded the bronze medal for bravery for his bold actions that night of the shooting.

Allen's family were in attendance at Monday's ceremony and gave Prince a tearful embrace after the event.

Recognized for bravery

Stephen Arruda, who risked his life to save others during the mass shooting in Las Vegas last fall  received a silver award for bravery. Other award recipients included Riza Kasikcioglu, who saved people from a burning apartment building near Jasper Avenue last year.

Phil Laplante Jr./CBC Edmonton

Five Edmonton police officers were recognized for their bravery. 

Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said it was a proud moment to watch his fellow comrades honoured for going above and beyond the call of duty.

"It's a proud moment to present the awards to Edmontonians, Albertans, Calgarians and in particular, our members. You listen to those stories and they resonate with you," he said.

"Those folks put themselves at great personal risk to help their fellow Albertans. It's quite phenomenal."

Const. Michael Chernyk was also recognized for his swift actions.

He was awarded the silver medal of bravery after he was hit by a car and stabbed several times outside a football game during last fall's Edmonton attack. Four other people were hit by a U-Haul van during the crime spree that night.

He declined commenting on last year's events on Monday but Knecht said he is proud of Chernyk's actions that night, adding the constable is "extremely resilient."

"He's just a tremendous human being," he said.