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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Step to the Left

Sir,

I was just in your site and thought I would take the time to tell you how much I enjoyed it. All to often we, as members of the law enforcement community, tend to forget the important things in life. Your page has reminded me of the fact that we must continue to thank God for all He has done for us and for His protection. I have a story to share with you, about my life and how I know that God was watching over me.

I was a Special Deputy with the Sheriff's Office in Ohio. I had been out of the academy four months, and was on patrol with a 10 year veteran in the S. O. It had been a slow night and we were just completing a traffic stop, when we were dispatched to investigate a "hang up 911." We began to proceed to the location when, after about a minute, dispatch informed us that a neighbor had called and said that there was a domestic dispute at the location we were going to. Of course at this point we increased the speed of our response. Having been on several domestics, I prepared mentaly for the situation ahead. When we were about 1 minute from the scene, dispatch informed us that there was a possible weapon involved. We arrived on scene and informed dispatch. Our Sergeant called to another unit to respond to back us up. They were 5 minutes away.

My partner and I began to approach three women in the back yard of the house we were sent to. It was a mother and her two daughters. The mother was visibly upset. We asked her what seemed to be the problem. She hatefully stated to us that we "had to ask him!" Motioning to the house. My partner then asked, where the gun was. Again, she gave a reply of "you have to ask him." No more than that was said, when a man arrived at the back door from inside the house. He was yelling at us to get the f**k out of here. We went to talk to the man and he tried to lock the door. My partner grabbed the door handle and turned it so that the man could not lock the door. The man turned and went away from the door. Worried about the possibility of a gun in the house, we went in to get the man and bring him outside. My partner entered first then me. I just got through the door when I saw the man standing by a rifle and a hand gun. The man bent and picked up the handgun. I and my partner were too far away from him to stop him so we opted for a "tactical retreat.'

As I exited the house and cleared the door I turned to check on my partner, what I saw scared the hell out of me. My partner had his back to me, the man, not 3 feet away from my partner, had his gun pointed at my partners head. Then it happened, I never heard the shot, I saw the flame from the man's gun, and I saw my partner's head turn to the side.

Knowing I needed to get in a better position, I ran to a position beside the man but still about 10 feet away. At some point I had drawn my gun. I pointed my gun at the suspect and began to fire.

I remember three out of the five shots that I fired. And then the suspect just fell over. I quickly scanned the area, for my partner, and there he was, still alive, and calling to me "where is he?" Refering to the suspect. I yelled that he was down and we both again approached the house.

The suspect was laying on the floor just inside the doorway and his gun was about 3 feet from him on the floor. My partner called out on the radio "shots fired, shots fired, suspect down, I've been hit but I'm ok!" I handcuffed the suspect, stood on the chain of the cuffs then turned my attention to my partner. The right cheek on his face was gone. My heart dropped. I took the radio from him, and called for dispatch to send two paramedic squads. I told my partner to sit down outside. Of course he didn't. He wanted to help secure the scene.

The medics arrived and grabbed my partner and took him to their squad. The second set of medics began to treat the suspect.

I will never forget the sound of the sirens as all the other deputies began to arrive. It was the most beautiful music I had ever heard. I was taken out of the scene and told not to speak to anyone except a member of the detective division. As time passed I had learned that my partner was going to be ok. A great sense of relief washed over me. I felt good that he was going to survive. The suspect however, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

After several weeks of investigation, my partner and I were cleared of the incident and later recieved the medal of honor and the medal of valor.

My partner told me later that "just before I was shot, someone told me to step to the left, and as I did he shot me." And then he thanked me for saving his life. I told him that I did not save him, that we both saved each other. And I still believe that to be true. In the time since the incident, I realize that God was watching over my partner and I that day. Both of us have a wife and kids, and both of us continue to thank God for his keeping us safe.

Thank you for you web page. It has been enjoyable looking through it.

Bill

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