AKRON, Ohio — On his first night on the job, Akron Officer Nakoa Anderson responded to a shooting on Greenwood Avenue.
There was nothing he could do for a 40-year-old man who was found dead inside of a garage. The case was ruled a homicide.
It was a tough career start for Anderson, 26, who grew up in the small village of Leetonia in Columbiana County.
Exactly one month later, he was called to another serious shooting in West Akron. But this time, he was able to take life-saving measures.
"Just based on the situation, you could tell that things needed to happen quickly," Anderson told News 5.
Around 8 p.m. on September 9, Anderson and Officer Cory Siegferth were dispatched to a report of a shooting in the 1000 block of Delia Avenue.
"We were very close to the scene and when we responded to the scene, we did find an individual laying in the street, " Siegferth said.
The victim, identified as 42-year-old Jeramy Cherry, had been shot in the leg and was bleeding badly.
Siegferth, who is training Anderson, told the rookie to grab his tourniquet and put it on the victim's leg to stop the bleeding.
"It's a loop. You put it on whatever appendage is damaged and you tighten it up to stop the bleeding," Anderson said.
The officers said Cherry was close to unconscious when he was whisked away by paramedics to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center.
Anderson and Siegferth weren't sure if their quick actions were enough to save a life.
However, the victim continues to recover at Akron General, according to his brother, Thomas Cherry, who added it's hard to find the right words to express his gratitude to the officers.
"What can I say? I don't know their names, but thank you," Cherry said. "I'm a man. I would like to shake his hand. That's how I say thank you because I'm a man. Thank you."
The officers stressed the tourniquet, along with all of their training, made the difference.
"His injury was life-threatening. There was significant blood loss and I believe that if the tourniquet had not been placed where it was, this individual probably would have lost their life," Siegferth said.
"With all the training we've had, I was able to act in the moment," Anderson said.
The officers don't consider their actions to be heroic, rather just part of the job.
"I didn't get into the job for praise or accolades or anything like that," Anderson said.
The shooting remains under investigation. No arrests have been made, but police are following leads.
Violence continues to be a major concern in Akron. There have been 37 murders in 2021 and 50 murders in 2020.
Anderson is relieved the shooting on Delia Avenue ended with a survival story rather than yet another family grieving.
"I'm glad it wasn't worse. I'm happy for the family," he said.