Las Cruces hero Canaan Bower described as fearless, humble, kind

LAS CRUCES – The broader Las Cruces neighborhood will keep in mind Canaan Bower because the native highschool wrestler who stopped a kidnapping, however his family members know that his heroics weren’t restricted to at least one motion.

Canaan died the night of March 9 in a motorbike crash at age 18.

His dad and mom, Troy and Kara Bower, are reeling from the loss.

Kara, 44, advised the Solar-Information on Monday that it virtually does not really feel actual to her. Troy, 43, stated it feels far more actual for him. He went to the scene of the crash close to the intersection of Triviz Drive and Missouri Avenue that night time and was tasked with delivering the tragic information of Canaan’s passing to relations.

“The community has really rallied around us,” Troy stated. “Canaan made the news a couple years ago, and so people feel a connection to him through that. But then also Canaan has just been an outgoing kid his whole life, and he’s made friends every stop along this journey. He’s made a connection with a lot of people.”

It was two years in the past that Canaan, then a highschool junior, was filling up his truck with fuel in Doña Ana when heard a girl screaming at Chucky’s Gasoline Station throughout the road. A person was attempting to take a girl’s kids and had assaulted a number of patrons and an worker. With out hesitation, Canaan walked into the foyer of the fuel station and as much as the person inflicting a ruckus, pinned him down and held him there till Doña Ana County sheriff’s deputies arrived.

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Troy and Kara recalled that Canaan was nonchalant about his actions. They each warned him to not do one thing harmful like that once more, however they could not assist being proud.

“When he got home, a few hours later, I gave him a great big hug when he walked in,” Troy stated. “He was just glowing, not because he was proud of what he had done, but because he saw that his dad was proud. It was just never anything that was a big deal to him. I would always introduce him to people as our local hero, and he always got so annoyed with it.”

Canaan’s act of bravery was acknowledged regionally, nationally and internationally, together with accolades from Doña Ana County authorities, New Mexico Senate, USA Wrestling and Final Combating Championship President Dana White.

The Bower family has a plaque displayed for Canaan Bower's Mayor's Distinguished Service Award, which he was presented with in 2021. Canaan won the award after intervening in a kidnapping at a gas station at just 16 years old. Canaan passed on March 9, 2022 in a motorcycle accident.

The Bowers stated the UFC contacted them after listening to of Canaan’s passing, letting the household know how massive of an influence his actions had on the group.

Additionally, the household that Canaan helped save two years in the past reached out to supply their condolences and thank the Bowers once more. Troy stated that was the primary time they’d talked in virtually two years.

An on a regular basis hero

For folks near Canaan, his heroism in March 2020 got here as no shock.

“He was fearless,” Troy stated. “He wasn’t afraid of anything. He was willing to do anything for anyone as long as it was for the right reason.”

Canaan graduated from Mayfield Excessive Faculty in Could 2021 and since then he has been working totally different jobs across the county.

Kara stated he was a tough employee and picked up many alternative abilities. He labored at Sparky’s restaurant in Hatch, volunteered at mechanic retailers and most not too long ago has been welding at Samson Gear. On the facet, he was the particular person associates of associates referred to as for a favor.

“It wasn’t always because they necessarily needed the help, it was that they knew that he would be willing, and that it was an opportunity for them to get to spend some time with him,” Troy stated.

His dad and mom described him as an important chief.

In highschool, Canaan was identified for being athletic. He began out enjoying baseball, then soccer, and started to wrestle his sophomore 12 months at Mayfield.

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Mayfield wrestling coach Invoice Hawkins referred to as it an honor to have Canaan be part of the workforce. His second 12 months of wrestling as a junior, he positioned first in district, within the heavyweight division. His senior 12 months, as a workforce captain, he positioned second at district.

Canaan Bower pictured in his graduation cap and gown. Canaan graduated from Mayfield High School in May 2021. Canaan's heroism was widely recognized after he intervened in a kidnapping at a gas station in 2020. Canaan passed on March 9, 2022 in a motorcycle accident at the age of 18.

Hawkins described Canaan as respectful and delicate. He stated that even to his opponents, he was at all times pleasant.

“Canaan was a real good guy,” Hawkins stated. “He’s one of those guys that he sort of believed in right and wrong. Whenever he would see things that he thought were wrong, most of the time, he would try to do something about it or say something about it.”

Troy recalled at some point seeing a lady bounce onto Canaan’s again after faculty.

When Troy prodded him about it, Canaan defined that the scholar got here from a damaged house and was a goal for bullying.

“(One day) she was in the hallway and the bullies decided to bully her, and they knocked her books to the ground and stole her backpack,” Troy stated. “Canaan was close enough that he saw what was going on. He interjected and kind of pushed the bullies aside and helped her pick her stuff up and made sure that the boys knew to never mess with her again. She saw Canaan as kind of her protector from that day forward.

“He did not even know her. He simply knew that this is not okay, this conduct isn’t okay.”

Troy described Canaan as one of the most popular people in school. He was outgoing and friends with everyone, even those bullies, which made others want to follow his lead.

“Canaan’s popularity turned stronger as a result of he did not care about his popularity,” Troy said. “All people needed to be his buddy.”

Inspiring others

Canaan was always big and strong. At 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, his presence commanded attention. But what people remember most is his kind heart.

Kara said that Canaan’s former boss reached out to the family after learning of his death.

“He was saying how a lot he discovered from Canaan and that he desires to like higher as a result of Canaan cherished higher,” Kara said. “I feel he introduced out that in everyone. You simply wish to be a greater particular person. You do not wish to be referred to as out by him for not doing the suitable factor as a result of he is doing the suitable factor. So by each instance, and simply his character, he at all times needed to be a greater particular person. I feel folks have been higher folks round him.”

Canaan Bower revisits the convenience store on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, where he subdued a would-be kidnapper. Bower, a heavyweight wrestler who recently won the district championship, was across the street when he heard the commotion and rushed to Chucky's Gas Station in Las Cruces to help.

Canaan was motivated to do selfless acts. At age 10, he urged people in his neighborhood to donate canned food for local soup kitchens, then volunteered his time at the kitchen.

“He at all times noticed good in whoever,” Kara said. “He believed that individuals will do good issues in case you ask them to do good issues.”

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Since Canaan’s passing, the family set up a GoFundMe with a goal to raise $5,000. In three days, the fund raised over $8,000. Kara explained the family has received financial support to mostly cover the funeral costs, but the GoFundMe was set up as a way for people to come to terms with their own grief.

“We respect completely every thing anyone’s carried out for us, however folks want an outlet,” Kara said, describing the huge amount of food being sent, much of which the family has passed on to homeless shelters. “We figured that offers them an outlet and a capability to do one thing as a result of they wish to do one thing. And so we’re grateful that individuals have been in a position to make use of it for that.”

From left, Troy, Canaan, Kara and Branson Bower pose as a family. Canaan Bower's heroism was widely recognized after he intervened in a kidnapping at a gas station in 2020. Canaan passed on March 9, 2022 in a motorcycle accident at the age of 18.

Troy and Kara aren’t sure what they’ll do with the GoFundMe money, but they know they want to do something that would honor Canaan’s selflessness.

Canaan’s funeral will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church, 4201 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. Community members can send virtual condolences at www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com/obituary/canaan-bower. He is survived by his parents, brother Branson Bower, his maternal and paternal grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mayfield High will be hosting a vigil Thursday, March 31, in his honor.

Miranda Cyr, a Report for America corps member, might be reached at [email protected] or @mirandabcyr on Twitter. Present your assist for the Report for America program at https://bit.ly/LCSNRFA.


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