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Sports

Guard comes to rescue

DeKALB - To Tim Mayerbock, the sound was unmistakable. It was the report from a shotgun; a distinct sound for an avid hunter of geese, duck and pheasant. It was also the last sound Mayerbock, a red-shirt sophomore guard on the Northern Illinois football team, expected to hear as he walked to class on Feb. 14. The unexpected sound caused the curious Mayerbock to run towards the doors of Cole Hall. As a door opened, Troy Chamberlain, a pre-sociology major from Sycamore, fell into his arms. Chamberlain, unable to walk after being shot in both legs, was scooped up by Mayerbock. After picking up Chamberlain, Mayerbock peered into Cole Hall, and saw a figure “walking with a slow demeanor.” He had seen enough. Mayerbock, listed at 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds, is used to blocking on the football field. But on Feb. 14 he became a running back. Mayerbock started running with Chamberlain in tow and screamed at everyone in the courtyard. As classes and athletic events resume on campus, students, athletes, and the NIU community will begin to settle into their daily routines. Some will be able to do so because of the actions of Mayerbock after he heard gun fire. “I was afraid he'd come out and start shooting people in the courtyard,” Mayerbock said. “As I look over, there were about 30 people at the bus stop and other people walking to class. So I start screaming at the top of my lungs for people to get back on the bus.” Mayerbock carried Chamberlain to DuSable Hall, where he checked out the wounds and called 911. “It didn't seem like that much at the time,” Mayerbock said. “Your adrenaline is running. I probably ran faster carrying him than I would have without him.” Mayerbock put his NIU-letterman jacket on Chamberlain, which is what junior wide receiver Britt Davis saw as he left his communications class in DuSable. Davis saw it wasn't an NIU athlete and, despite being on a quest to make sure the people he knew were safe, stopped to help. A trained EMT and a nursing student helped Mayerbock and Davis check the wounds. EMS had to wait until the scene was deemed safe before they were allowed in. It was up to the first responders to keep Chamberlain from going into shock. “I wanted to do as much as I could,” Davis who has 1st Aide and CPR training. “We tried to keep him calm, checked his extremities and kept him warm. We all were on the same page, the training you have in a spur-of-the-moment situation really goes out the window, but I'd say everyone there did an incredible job.” When EMS arrived, Mayerbock hopped in the ambulance with Chamberlain. “That was one of the worst parts,” Mayerbock said. “The dispatcher kept coming on with details and they were horrifying.” At Kishwaukee Hospital, Mayerbock said it was “helicopter after helicopter and ambulance after ambulance.” Once the media attention settles down and a sense of normalcy gradually returns to the NIU campus, Mayerbock said he expects to get together with Chamberlain and hang out. “It's not appropriate,” Mayerbock said when asked if he was a hero. “What I did was honorable at best. Most people would have done what I did. I know anyone on this football team would have.” When Mayerbock joined his teammates for a night of bowling at the Huskie Den last Tuesday, he was just another guy in search of a strike. “I can't tell you how happy I was to be around everyone I was comfortable with,” Mayerbock said. “That's what the university needs. Students need to be around things they are used to and familiar with and things will fall back into place.” The football team tried to get back to normal on the bowling lanes. Getting back into the athletic arena is also a way for student-athletes to continue the healing process, said Associate VP/Director of Athletics Jim Phillips. “Even though our lives are forever changed,” Phillips said. “I look at athletics as the front porch for the university. I look forward to the moment when our student-athletes can get another opportunity to excel in their sports.” On the bowling lanes, Mayerbock was just a normal guy throwing a bowling ball. That is how the Chicago native wants everyone to consider him. But after role he played in the Feb. 14 shooting, most would have to consider him a hero. “Tim is a stand up guy what he did is a testament to his character, Davis said. “He'd want to ensure that everyone was safe. I wasn't surprised at all. I know anyone on our football team would do the same thing.”

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