CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Almost 24 hours later, Pietro's Restaurant is still recovering from Wednesday night's deadly shooting. Also recovering in a hospital bed- 18-year old Michael Dudley, a frequent customer, who put his life on the line to help a complete stranger.
Support for number 82, Michael Dudley, a recent Thomas Dale Graduate and football star has gone from loud cheering, to simple, quiet messages on Facebook: "Please pray for Michael- a true hero."
Wednesday night, the 18-year-old was shot once in the stomach outside a Chester restaurant. His father says Michael was trying to help a stranger, 45-year-old Cindy Parker who was involved in a violent dispute with her husband Richard.
"I certainly admire him. And God bless him for intervening. Doing the right thing," said Kenny Keener with Castaway Sporting Goods.
Less than two blocks down the road from the restaurant is Castaway Sporting Goods. Michael started working part-time in the spring. His co-worker Kenny Keener was flabbergasted by the news.
"He's very outgoing, very energetic. He's a real likeable kid," Keener said.
Other people describe Michael as the well-liked kid who was named "most sociable" by classmates, now add to the list: brave, heroic and admirable. According to his father, Michael is out of surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
He has a full football scholarship to Virginia State University; Michael is planning a future in law enforcement - a career that requires people to put themselves on the line to defend the community.
And whether defending his team or a woman in need, Michael's family says his character will continue to grow and this won't keep him from helping others. Michael was selected to play in the state all-star football game in just a few weeks. He won't be able to take the field, but his parents say he's already been made an honorary player.