"Just kept attacking him:" 11-year-old stung more than 400 times by Africanized bees

PHOENIX, Arizona -- An Arizona family credits the quick action of a volunteer firefighter for saving the life of an 11-year-old boy stung more than 400 times by Africanized bees.

On Monday night, February 20th, family members say Andrew Kunz and a friend were shooting BB guns at an old rusty truck near their home when they mistakenly hit a hidden beehive.

"Andrew was trying to run up the hill to get away from them and they just kept attacking him and he kind of rolled back down and went into a fetal position trying to protect himself," said Petrea Kunz, the boy's grandmother.

The 11-year-old was stung more than 400 times all over his body. The family says there were so many stings on Andrew's head that it looked like a pin cushion.

"These bees, they don't stop. They just coming and swarm and keep coming and coming and coming. A little kid doesn't have much of a chance against them," said Kreg Kunz, the boy's grandfather.

Safford Volunteer Fire Chief Clark Bingham arrived on scene and despite an allergy to bees, ran into the dangerous swarm to carry Andrew to safety. Bingham was released from the hospital Monday night.

"The fact that he would be willing to give his life for my grandson and that's truly what he was willing to do. He is a true hero," said Petrea.

"We don't have too many people like that in the world anymore," said Kreg.

A Graham County Sheriff's deputy that also tried to help was stung 100 times and is expected to be OK.

Andrew is breathing on his own again and his condition is improving. He will spend the next three to four days in the hospital before he can go home.

"He's still fighting. He's our fighter," said Kreg.

The City of Safford plans to award Bingham a medal of valor for his efforts. The Kunz family says they plan to be there.

Experts say with bees coming out of hibernation, the threat of getting stung will only get worse. If you find yourself under attack, experts advise people to cover their face with their hands and calmly walk away.