Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on December 12, 2023
Heroic Atlanta Security Guard Suffers Severe Burns, Trying to Save Self-Immolating WomanSource: Google Street View

In a harrowing account of self-sacrifice and bravery, a security guard at the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta has been hospitalized with serious injuries after attempting to rescue a woman who reportedly set herself on fire. Michael Harris, a 61-year-old Army veteran, was severely burned during the incident, which occurred on December 1. Harris, who has worked at the consulate for 17 years, was released from the hospital after over a week of intense medical care.

"The skin graft surgery went well, and [the grafts] are blending and connecting really good on his legs and hands," his wife Tangellia Harris told FOX 5 Atlanta. Despite the pain and the challenging recovery process, Harris' family conveys that he remains in good spirits. Displaying resilient positivity, Harris was even photographed throwing up a peace sign as he was wheeled into surgery.

Tangellia Harris has remained a steadfast source of support for her husband, asking the public for prayers during his recovery. In a recent update, she expressed her deep gratitude for the outpouring of support the family has received. "I thank God for the love, support, and donations everyone has given! Please continue to lift my family up in prayer as he continues to recover," she revealed in a statement to FOX 5 Atlanta.

Michael Harris, likened by his family to having the trained instincts of a protector, immediately sprang into action when he became aware of the crisis outside his workplace. "They are trained to protect and serve," Romona Kea, Harris’ sister-in-law said in a statement obtained by 11Alive. "And I feel like that’s what my brother did." Kea further expressed her shock upon seeing Harris endure so much pain.

Additional details on the condition of the woman involved in the self-immolation attempt have not been disclosed by the police, and her identity and motives remain unclear. As for Harris, his physical scars are a testament to his bravery and the spontaneous act of heroism that led to his injuries. His family has highlighted his generous nature, with his wife affirming, "Michael is a very generous person, he has a very kind heart. There’s no strangers," Tangie told 11Alive. The road to recovery may be long for Harris, but the support from his community continues to bolster his journey to healing.