Scouters in Action: A hero in the navy yard shooting



On Sept. 16, 2013, as Capt. Edward Zawislak, 45, and other employees were leaving their Washington, D.C., office building after hearing a fire alarm, they encountered an unknown gunman who fired at them, injuring a woman in their group.


As gunshots continued to ring throughout the building, Capt. Zawislak and the others tried to get out of the stairwell. None of the doors would open, so they went up to the roof to find safety.


Capt. Zawislak administered first aid, comforting the woman and applying pressure to her wounds with his jacket to help control the bleeding.

Capt. Zawislak yelled to people on the ground that a woman had been badly hurt and needed help.


The captain returned to the woman and treated her for shock, keeping her warm and making sure she stayed conscious. He directed a fellow employee to call 911 using the victim’s cellphone and kept everyone calm until a SWAT team arrived.

Capt. Zawislak assisted a U.S. Park Police SWAT team EMT with additional first aid, and a medevac helicopter airlifted the woman to a hospital. She survived her injuries.


Eagle Scout and Navy Capt. Edward Leo Zawislak, Scoutmaster of Troop 903 and a committee member of Pack 903 in Huntingtown, Md., received an Honor Medal with Crossed Palms for his actions. It is Scouting’s highest award for bravery.

“Scouters in Action” subjects come from the National BSA Court of Honor. If you know of an act of heroism that should be recognized, contact your local BSA council office for a lifesaving or meritorious award application. Note: Consult approved safety guidelines, as actions depicted here may not precisely follow standard procedures.

Read true stories of Scouts In Action.

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