Watch President Obama invoke Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old who sacrificed his life to spare the lives of his friends from a gunman.

At the conclusion of a speech outlining his new executive action on gun control, the president highlighted Dobson, a Knoxville high school student who was murdered in December of last year when a gunman randomly opened fire on a group of teenagers who were hanging out after school on a porch. Dobson was shot dead while he was shielding three of his classmates from the gunfire. “He was really one of our success stories,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “Involved in sports, a mentee of one of our organizations in town. But still he falls victim to this.” 

President Obama had already tweeted about Dobson’s heroism, but on Tuesday he took it a step further. “We are not asked to do what Zaevion Dobson did, we are not asked to have shoulders that big, a heart that strong, reactions that quick,” Obama said. “I’m not asking people to have that same level of courage or sacrifice or love.” Instead, Obama said that people should vote and organize for change. “And if we do we’ll leave behind a nation that’s stronger than the one we inherited and worthy of the sacrifice of a young man like Zaevion.”