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Family Hopes to Reconnect With ‘Homeless Hero' Who Saved DC Police Officer

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 7/4/2020
a person walking down a city street © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

The family of a homeless man hailed as a hero after intervening when he saw a D.C. police officer being stabbed wants to reconnect with him after seeing him interviewed on News4.

John Burrows has been living on the streets of D.C. He risked his life Thursday morning when he saw a man stabbing the officer in the neck and back.

“These are my cops, my city,” Burrows told News4. “I don’t want you stabbing them.”

A number of people who saw the interview wanted to help, but Renee Duperow had a different reaction.

“It’s my uncle; he’s alive,” she said.

Burrows’ family lives throughout Virginia and hasn’t seen or heard from him in more than eight years. They feared he was dead.

“Because with COVID and everything going on and being homeless in D.C. with all the riots, I’m just thankful we saw him,” Duperow said.

Burrows had been living in a tent in Franklin Square until Monday when the D.C. government removed the homeless tents.

That didn’t deter Burrows from risking his life three days later to save a police officer.

“My uncle’s always had an amazing heart,” Duperow said.

The D.C. Department of human services quickly set up a GoFundMe effort for Burrows. In less than a day, hundreds of people had donated more than $12,000.

His family hopes to give Burrows something more than money.

“And just knowing he’s alive and we’ll get to hug him when all this is over is amazing,” Duperow said.

She and her family are waiting by the phone, hoping for a call they’ve been wanting for more than eight years.

“And if he’s watching the news, we love you Uncle John. Call us,” Duperow said. Burrows’ niece has been volunteering in her community for years at a homeless outreach center providing meals, hoping someone in D.C. would be doing the same for her uncle.

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