Chester police officer uses his body to shield mom and children from gunfire

When gunfire broke out Tuesday night in Chester Police Officer Jose Alvarez used his own body to protect three young children and their mom.

Officer Jose Alvarez can usually be found playing around with the city's youth while at the same time keeping them safe. But on Monday night, he took that safety duty to a whole new level.

"You don't think when something like this happens, obviously. Nobody knows what's going to happen to you until it really happens," Officer Alvarez told FOX 29.

At 7th and Tilghman while meeting with a parent gunfire erupted.

"Mid-sentence, talking to the mom about the curfew, shots fired rang out. Two shots fired, rang boom boom," Officer Alvarez explained.

He says the shots came from behind him with the mom and her three children--between 9 and 12 years --in front of him. His body became their only line of defense.

It felt like forever because obviously my adrenaline was going. I didn't know if I was hit or not. It was as just as hearing a bullet just strike a building where it happened."

He ran after the suspected shooter once the gunfire stopped but lost track of him.

"After my shift that day. Yeah, in my car I had to just take a second and just thank God that he was able to provide some cover for not only myself but anybody that was in the area."

Officer Alvarez is a father of five kids with a grandchild on the way later this year. He says he doesn't feel like a hero just a guy doing what he does best--protecting those around him.

"Thank God I have a supporting family and friends that know what I'm here for and what I do. If it wasn't for my wife and my kids, I wouldn't--you know be able to come home. That's actually what makes me want to come home every day."