Barbara Gusse is being hailed a hero after she spotted a vehicle that was the subject of an Amber Alert on Saturday, helping police locate a missing 1-year-old boy who was inside a Jeep that was stolen from outside his Minneapolis home.
It even earned her her own day, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Tuesday proclaiming Feb. 9, 2021, Barbara Gusse Day in Minneapolis.
Gusse was outside her Brooklyn Center home feeding the birds on Saturday when she saw a Jeep that was running in the church parking lot across the street. After getting an Amber Alert regarding a Jeep that was stolen with a 1-year-old boy inside, she grabbed her bird watching binoculars and confirmed the license plates matched, so she quickly called the police.
Her call ended a nearly two-hour search for the missing boy. In a now-viral Twitter video from WCCO's Jason DeRusha, Gusse, getting emotional, said when police arrived and opened the Jeep's door, she could hear the child crying.
"I'm just glad he's OK," she told DeRusha on Saturday, not long after the search for the boy ended.
Gusse, a grandmother of nine, has told multiple Twin Cities media outlets that she's not a hero, just a grandmother.
When presenting Gusse with the proclamation on Tuesday, Frey called her a hero and told her she "quite literally saved a life." And she still remembers the license plate of the vehicle – CRY 661.
The mayor's proclamation says "on a day when temperatures in Minneapolis plunged to dangerous levels, Gusse jumped into action to assist law enforcement in locating the missing child, avoiding an unimaginably tragic outcome."
Gusse worked for nine years with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board but has since retired, with the proclamation saying she "exemplifies the very best qualities of a city employee, a hero and a grandmother."
The boy's mother, DaMarria Dotson, spoke with KARE 11, saying she's grateful Gusse spotted the vehicle.
No one except the boy was in the vehicle when police arrived, with Dotson noting some things were taken from inside, but all that matters is her son is safe.
No one has been arrested in connection to the incident.