9-year-old honored for quick response during Waltham machete attack

Karen called 911 during a machete attack that investigators say stemmed from an argument between neighbors

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A 9-year-old girl from Waltham, Massachusetts, is being honored for her quick thinking in alerting police of a machete attack that left three people hurt in July.

Karen Guzman is already considered a hero by the city of Waltham and its Police Department.



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“When I called 911 I was scared," she told NBC10 Boston.

Earlier this week, she was presented with the Police Chief’s Signature Coin and a City of Waltham Proclamation.

“It feels so like so good… so good," she said.

That celebration continued Thursday with her mom by her side. Karen got a tour of the police station and even got to ride a patrol car.

"I feel very proud," her mother Yessenia said in Spanish, adding that her daughter showed great bravery despite her age.

Karen and her family speak Spanish as their first language. She tells us that the day of the attack on Hammond Street, a bilingual officer responded to the call, making it a lot easier for them to communicate.

"That was very good because I just know a little bit of English and it’s better for me to speak Spanish," Karen said.

Officer Kelly O’Dowd was the one who responded to the call

“I think she handled it very well and she’s very mature for her age. She did something incredible that day and she saved a very important life," O'Down said.

She tells us she learned Spanish in school, a skill that has come in handy with her career.

“Just really glad I could be there for her in a different way and hopefully being able to speak her language made her feel a little bit more comfortable.”

Meanwhile, Karen tells us she is preparing for fourth grade but also already thinking about her future, hoping to one day help her community in both languages.

“it makes me happy to be a police officer and be able to help other people.”

Karen is only the third person in Waltham to receive the Signature Coin Award.

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