Woman who aided slain Middletown teen offering free life-saving classes in his honor

Amanda Proffitt, the Middletown woman who performed CPR on 17-year-old Joseph Davis after he was shot and killed May 29, 2018, is having a memorial for the teen and a CPR instruction event on the anniversary of the the death. Proffitt talks at the memorial at the location Davis was killed on Woodlawn Avenue. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Amanda Proffitt, the Middletown woman who performed CPR on 17-year-old Joseph Davis after he was shot and killed May 29, 2018, is having a memorial for the teen and a CPR instruction event on the anniversary of the the death. Proffitt talks at the memorial at the location Davis was killed on Woodlawn Avenue. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Amanda Proffitt jumped into action on the night May 29, 2018 when she saw a teen boy who was shot lying on the pavement on Woodlawn Avenue.

Proffitt was not able to save 17-year-old Joseph Davis, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but she wants to honor his memory by teaching people how to save lives.

“I don’t want people to forget Joseph,” said Proffitt, who works in the health care industry and is also a cook at a local restaurant. “It is so important for people to know how to do CPR. I couldn’t save him that night, but maybe someone else can save a life in his memory.”

MORE: Mother of fatal shooting victim said she warned son about violence just minutes before his death

Proffitt has organized a CPR instruction class on Wednesday and a candlelight vigil to follow at a stop sign that serves as a memorial to Davis. The pole where Davis fell after the shooting is decorated with flowers and in the past year has been adored with teddy bears. The bears have been vandalized, and some were set on fire a few weeks ago.

“We packed up what was left of them for his family to have,” she said.

Proffitt was living with a friend on the night Davis was killed. She was sitting on the porch smoking when she heard the popping sounds. She did not realize it was gunfire until a teen ran around the corner shouting, “they are shooting.”

After rushing to the scene with her daughter, Proffitt saw a large group of people standing around, but no one was helping, she said.

“I just knew I had to try. He had a faint pulse,” she said.

Proffitt grew tired and her friend, Kimberly Brummett-Smith, arrived to help. They kept up the effort until police and paramedics arrived.

Davis his family had relocated to Middletown from Detroit to get away from some of the violence in that city, family members told the Journal News last year. His mother has since moved away from Middletown, Proffitt said.

MORE: Police: Teen member of gang admitted to fatal shooting

“I still keep in touch with her,” she said, noting she met Davis’ mother at the Middletown police station just hours after the shooting. “When I learned he didn’t make it, I told her, ‘I tried to bring him home to you./”

The CPR class, conducted by a school nurse from Marshall High School when Davis was a student, will be held at the from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Kingswell Building, 1124 Central Ave. The candlelight vigil will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Woodlawn near Cohen Recycling.

The instruction is free.

“I encourage parents, grandparents, children, anyone at all willing to learn CPR to join us in Joseph’s memory,” Proffitt said.

Chuck Hall, principal at Marshall, applauds Proffitt’s efforts to honor Davis and save lives.

“It just saddens me that we continue to see violence in are area,” Hall said. “She tried to save the young man and is a concerned citizen. Much too often people turn a deaf ear and a blind eye. It is great to see someone make and effort and stand up for what is right.”

Gonnii White, now 17, is awaiting trial in June for the shooting death of Davis. He is charged with murder and participating in a criminal gang. He is being tried as an adult in Butler County Common Please Court.

MORE: Teen remains in jail awaiting Middletown gang shooting trial after fourth continuance

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