Daniel Wesley: Central’s Homegrown Hero

A 17-year-old Central High School senior is being hailed as a hero after he risked his life to try to save a murder victim.
The murderer told Daniel, “If you help her, I will kill you!” and he did his best to do just that!
Daniel Wesley, known at Central High for his strong school spirit and Christian walk, dashed out of his car on Essen Lane Sunday when he saw a woman being pushed out of car.  He been shot and mortally wounded. As 30-year-old April Beck lay dying, Wesley, who has been training as an EMT, rushed to her aid. But Beck’s boyfriend, Terrel Walker, 48, returned rel Walker, 48, returned and drove through a crowd of people trying to help, hitting Wesley. Walker then got out of his car and started shooting at Wesley, hitting him in the buttocks and arm. As Wesley sat recovering, from the gunshot wounds, Walker returned in his vehicle and ran over his legs. Terrel Walker also fired on EMS who arrived on the scene, reportedly the first time in history that Baton Rouge EMS have been fired on while on a call.
Walker was killed shortly thereafter in a shootout with police.
After being taken to the hospital late Sunday, Daniel Wesley had leg surgery, and doctors inserted a metal rod.  Then Tuesday, he had surgery on his elbow, and they inserted 15 or 16 screws.  By Wednesday, he was in physical therapy and already walking on his legs, despite great pain.
At Central High School, principal David Prescott had high praise for the 17-year-old senior.  He said, “In 30 years, I’ve had a lot of great kids.  As a coach, I’ve seen good players make great plays.  Often the great plays are made by instinct.  Sunday night, when Daniel responded to the crisis he faced, he was operating by instinct but this time it was about somebody’s life.  I’m as proud of Daniel Wesley as any player I’ve ever coached or any student I’ve ever taught.  He’s a real hero!”
“We think about Daniel’s great school spirit.  On Friday nights, he’s a superfan and paints his body for the Wildcats.  He love to see our kids having good clean fun, and that’s what he always does.”
Prescott said Daniel’s father is a retired EMS supervisor. “Daniel has been all through our sports medicine program.  We offer three or four EMS, and he is in the senior EMS class.  Upon graduation, they are entitled to certification.”
Prescott has visited Daniel twice since he was admitted to the hospital.  “He’s in good spirits  when he’s awake.  He’s telling jokes and laughing.  But because of the medication, he’s in and out.”
Central High School is accepting donations to help Daniel’s family pay the bills. There is also a GoFundMe Account.  One of the advantages of the school’s account is that 100 percent of the money will go to Daniel’s parents.  Contributions should be made payable to Central High School and marked for the Daniel Wesley Fund.  Checks should be mailed to David Prescott, Principal, Central High School, 10200 East Brookside, Central, LA 70818.
Prescott said Daniel Wesley is a graduating senior and the school will make every possible effort to make sure he graduates on time with class in May.  The principal has high hopes for the young man recovering at the hospital.
“Nothing would surprise me about Daniel.  I will always remember this kid.  I’ve been in education since 1979 and sometimes I wonder why I keep going.  But one of the reasons is once in a while I get to meet a kid like Daniel Wesley!”
Gov. and Mrs. John Bel Edwards visited Daniel Wednesday, as did a cousin of Terrel Walker visited Daniel to offer his apologies for his cousin’s actions.

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