I respect and agree with most of your posts, but I have to disagree with this one.
This is why we have programs for stress disorders for police, fire and soldiers. We help them deal with it and avoid suicide. We help rape victims.
Please spare us from the psychobabble. You don't know of what you speak. A person can recover from horrendous psychological trauma - it is preferred over death.
The fact that many people can be helped to recover from psychological trauma does not mean that everyone does recover...hence the high rate of substance abuse, divorce, and suicide even after such treatment has been completed.
I wouldn't have jumped in, unless it was my own child. Parental instincts probably would have taken over common sense at that point. There are many parents who would willingly sacrifice their own lives in an attempt to save their child (I think that's what Mleake's tongue-in-cheek comment re barbecue sauce was about). But if it was somebody else's child and I was carrying a concealed handgun, I would rather deal with the consequences of firing than not firing.