Cobb County

Local teen hailed as hero after robber stabs two Target employees, police say

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A local teenager is credited with saving lives after police said a robber stabbed two Target employees.

Cobb County police said Michael Thornton stabbed the workers inside the Target on Cobb Parkway in Marietta Sunday.

They said 17-year-old Cobb County Police Explorer Cpl. Mario Alexander also works there.

Police said the teen used techniques he learned in the explorer program to help the victims until paramedics took over.

"If I wasn't there, it could have went a whole different way," Alexander said.

He had all the training that came with the uniform as he came up with a way to stop the bleeding.

“So then I said, ‘What can I use?’ and then I looked down at my T-shirt, and I said, ‘T-shirt, let's go,’” Alexander said.

He got on the ground and used his own T-shirt as a tourniquet for one coworker stabbed in the arm.


Then Alexander found another coworker who had been stabbed in the neck.

“I was applying so much pressure to his wound that he was like 'gasp' but you’re not (going to) talk right now, you’re just (going to) sit here and be quiet, OK?” Alexander said.

Alexander said he kept his composure as he helped to stop the bleeding before police responded.

“I went back to the other individual and made sure he was fine, just went back and forth,” Alexander said.

“Helping is his passion,” said Gabrielle Cummings, the teen’s mother.

“He's just that kind of person,” said Officer Andy Higgins of the Cobb County Explorer Program.

“He's in the right career field,” said Officer Sarah O'Hara of the Cobb County Police Department.

For Alexander, he's thankful he came to work ready to do that job and his next job.

“I really don’t think I’m a hero. I give all the credit to the police explorers, the police department, and the Lord,” Alexander said.

The explorer program welcomes young adults between ages 14-21 for weekly law enforcement training.

Alexander said his dream job is to be an officer with the Cobb County Police Department.