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'Homeless Hero' Says Saving Woman From River Was His Duty

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It was early Saturday morning when two struggling souls came together in the darkness of the Mississippi river.

"It was about 2 a.m., and I was woken up by a huge splash, like something really hard hitting the water," said Shane Drossard, who lives on the streets of Minneapolis.

In utter blackness, he scurried to the river bank, under the Washington Avenue Bridge. That's where Drossard heard a female's faint voice, struggling against the current.

"I'm screaming, 'I'm coming, I'm coming, help's coming,'" Drossard said.

He lowered himself over a steel and concrete wall and the woman grabbed hold of his leg. But it wasn't long after when her strength gave up and she let go.

Drossard says he had no choice but to go in the water, too.

After attempting suicide by jumping from the bridge, the woman was in deep despair, Drossard knew.

"She says finally, 'I'm going to go, I didn't want to be here anymore anyway,'" Drossard said.

In the dark, turbid waters, he kept reassuring the woman that she is beautiful and has a full life ahead of her.

"I'm trying to hold onto her against the current, and she's trying to give up," he said.

After what seemed like an eternity, help finally arrived as Hennepin County water patrol and law enforcement officers pulled onto the scene.

A person walking across the bridge had heard Drossard's constant screams for help and dialed 911.

Both were pulled from the river, battered but alive.

When he is asked from where he drew the courage to act, Drossard humbly says, "I don't know, I heard a voice and just wanted to, you know, to save, wanted to do something good for somebody."

He is now being called the "homeless hero," the man who literally gave all he had, to help another in desperate need.

When told that there is no virtue greater than saving another human being, Drossard admits: "I've been choked up over it."

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