KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Rubi Pirir came out fighting during her boxing match over the weekend.
At only 13 years old, Pirir is delivered strength, power and tenacity with every punch.
“Saturday, I had my first fight,” Pirir said. “I felt good, I was nervous at first a little bit, but my coaches helped me.”
Lenexa Police Department Maj. Frank Ice, who coaches Pirir at the KCK Police Athletic League, said he's impressed with her abilities.
“I’m in awe," Ice said. "I’m in awe in terms of seeing what she could do."
Some may believe that her strength began in the ring, but Pirir's mother knows otherwise.
“She’s my little superhero, I tell her every day," Rosa Olivas-Villanueva said.
In July, Pirir was ambushed by a violent teenager while carrying her little brother outside their home. The teen shot at her multiple times.
"She saved a lot of our lives — the baby's life, her own life, my life, her sister's life," Olivas-Villanueva said. "If it wasn’t recorded, no one would believe that that happened.”
After the incident, Ice was the first person Olivas-Villanueva.
“When you work out together, you build relationships and over time you build trust,” Ice said.
While Pirir was OK, her mother was shot in the leg. The family told KSHB 41 she is still working to recover.
“Grit, tenacity and perseverance, there are no excuses in her world,” Ice said.
The place where Pirir found boxing helped lead her to victory in the ring and the resiliency to refuse to give up.
The suspect in the shooting is 16 years old and he is currently detained. He was charged with two counts of first-degree assault, one count of unlawful use of weapon and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.