Officer Andrew Soderlund and Tyshaun LaFlore
Officer Andrew Soderlund and Tyshaun LaFlore

Aurora Police Officers, Neighbor Honored for Saving Boy

Kane County Connects Staff - City of Aurora release 12/21/2022 9:00AM
During the last City Council meeting of the year, the Aurora City Council paid tribute to its first responders and local heroes. The six police officers responsible for rescuing a 9-year-old Tyshaun LaFlore in a neighborhood pond the day before Thanksgiving received special awards and proclamations for their heroic efforts. In addition, the neighbor who selflessly jumped in the pond to save LaFlore, Shannon Neal, before first responders arrived was also honored.

The Aurora Police Officers and neighbor who were singled out at the December 20, 2022 meeting included
1. Shannon O’Neal (Neighbor who jumped into the water to keep child afloat)
2. Officer Alexander Lopez (Officer who went into the water)
3. Officer Andrew Soderlund (Officer who went into the water)
4. Officer Darren Pedota (Pulled officers, woman, and child)
5. Officer Victor Garcia (Pulled officers, woman, and child)
6. Officer Vincent Nardone (Pulled officers, woman, and child)
7. Officer Adan Barraza (Pulled officers, woman, and child)

BACKGROUND Just before 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, Aurora's 911 Telecommunications Center received reports of a 9-year-old drowning. Aurora Police officers and Aurora Firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Around the same time, neighbor Shannon O’Neal’s son ran to their second-floor apartment unit, screaming that the kid he was playing football with outside had fallen through the ice trying to retrieve the football. Without hesitation, Shannon, a former lifeguard, sprinted down the stairs, across the complex, and entered the icy, 15' deep, black water where 9-year-old Tyshaun LaFlore was struggling to stay afloat as the ice he tried to grab kept breaking. Shannon reached Tyshaun and tried to calm him while she held his head above the water until help arrived. When officers arrived, they found a 9-year-old boy who had fallen through the ice and an adult woman who had gone in to save the child.

Multiple officers deployed water rescue kits while two officers swam to save the drowning child and the adult female in the water. In a combined effort, officers were able to safely return to land with the child and the woman. The child sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital by the Aurora Fire Department. Two Aurora officers who swam to rescue the child suffered minor injuries and were transported to an area hospital by the Aurora Fire Department. Shannon, the female adult, was treated on scene and was not transported. Shannon returned to her apartment, where she dried off, changed, and was assessed for hyperthermia. She signed a release and returned to prepping food for Thanksgiving dinner.

Source/City of Aurora Media Advisory
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