SAN ANTONIO – The John Jay High School community came together Thursday night to remember Marine Corps veteran and former Mustang Rodney Buentello for his heroic efforts. Hundreds gathered at the school.
Buentello died Wednesday while saving two teens who had been swept away in the Medina River.
Buentello was at Bandera City Park with his family and did not know the teens.
Buentello graduated from John Jay High School and worked as a teacher's aide for about three years. Students and staff members are very sad about their loss.
"When I first heard about it, I didn't want to believe it because I was, like, Mr. B., I just didn't want to," student Daniel Flores said. "He was a hero. He was born a hero. He died a hero."
"This individual is a Purple Heart recipient. He's a combat veteran. He's a hero not only through combat, but the way he mentored these kids," said Troy Garner, U.S. Marine Corps recruiter at John Jay High School. "So when I thought of what happened yesterday, I know he didn't think twice about what he did."
Buentello was a two-time Purple Heart recipient.
One of the teens saved will be cited for violating city ordinance.