Officer Kyle Russel was training a new recruit
when they spotted a car driving erratically and in a dangerous manner on Interstate 395
near Washington, DC. They pursued the car, and the driver eventually pulled over. Here’s
what happened next. As I approached the car I was able to look
in and I saw that there was an Asian male driver. I immediately though he was in medical
distress. So, I walked up to the car a little more, I turned my body and I said, “Hey, are
you okay?” And he looked up at me and growled at me as he said, “Hi.” Simultaneously he
reached under his right leg and pulled out a 45-caliber pistol and shot me once in the
chest. I was able to dive for cover. And, he took off down 395 towards DC. Officers pursued the vehicle a short distance. The driver turned the gun on himself on the
side of I-395. Law enforcement went to the driver’s apartment and found his deceased
wife. He had shot her just before his encounter with Officer Russel.
He has gone over the events of that night many times, and Officer Russel considers himself
fortunate to have been wearing the body armor that he put on every day as part of the routine
preparation for his shift. Without a doubt, it saved my life. I wouldn’t
have been here. It was a dead on, heart shot. My life is fantastic. Since the incident,
I’ve gotten married. I have two beautiful kids. I couldn’t be happier.
Officer Russel advises all officers to wear their vests on every shift.
You definitely need to wear them. They’re there for your protection and they work. For more information contact the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology
Center at Justnet.org.