by Suzanne Le Mignot and Wendy Widom

CHICAGO (CBS) — A youth football coach in Chicago credited with saving dozens of kids’ lives is now struggling to pay his bills after the hardware store who employed him shuttered last week.

Karl “Kadillac” Lindsey was coaching the La Follette Park Junior Varsity and Varsity Wildcats football teams on September 18 when he heard gunshots ring out. A man was shooting at another man near the field.

The man’s target ran behind Lindsey, who got shot. A bullet entered the top of Lindsey’s left wrist and exited below, breaking it.

As the incident unfolded, Lindsey told all of the players to crouch down. He cradled two kids in his arms.

“He is truly a hero for being out there and getting those kids off the field,” said parent Dorian Funches. Lindsey’s actions saved about 30 children between the ages eight and 12.

Weeks later, with his hand still on the mend, Lindsey received news that his employer, Mid-City Hardware & Paint, was closing its doors. With few options, Lindsey started a GoFundMe campaign.

“I don’t go around asking people for money. I don’t want to do this,” he told CBS 2. But with his hand injured, bills piling up and medical needs unmet, Lindsey said he has few options.


(Photo: Karl Lindsey)

His son Kareem, who was on the field when Lindsey got shot, will turn nine on October 31. “Every year I give him a cake, give him clothes and shoes,” Lindsey told CBS 2, as he choked back tears and said this year would have to be different due to a lack of funds.

Despite all of the challenges, Lindsey remains thankful he protected his players. “The first thing is the kids,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about myself.”

The GoFundMe campaign for Coach Kadillac can be found here.