MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) – Living on the streets, one man didn't have much to give, but when an unidentified woman jumped from a bridge into the river, his courage and compassion was enough to save her life.
Shane Drossard, who lives under a Minneapolis bridge, woke up in the early morning of July 28 when he heard a huge splash in the river.
In utter blackness, Drossard hurried to the river bank, where he heard a faint female voice, struggling against the current.
"I'm screaming, 'I'm coming, coming. Help's coming,'" Drossard said. "I didn't think one second. I just did it."
The man lowered himself over a wall, and the woman grabbed hold of his leg. But when her strength gave out and she let go, Drossard said he had no choice but to go into the water, too.
Believing the woman had attempted suicide by jumping from the bridge, Drossard said he knew she was in deep despair.
"She says finally, 'I'm gonna let go. I don't want to be here anymore anyway,'" he said.
But in the dark, cold waters, Drossard kept reassuring her that she is beautiful with 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. "I told her, 'No, it's not your time. I'm here. I'm not going to let go.'"
Drossard said it seemed like an eternity before help finally arrived to pull both himself and the woman from the river. They were battered but alive.
A person walking across the bridge had heard Drossard's screams for help and dialed 911.
Drossard is now being called the "homeless hero."
"I heard a voice and... I just wanted to save, wanted to do something good for somebody," Drossard said.