Sheriff: Good Samaritans saved deputies' lives
When deputies Mike Northway and Matt Spink were shot and wounded by Charlie Wallace Tuesday afternoon neighbors living nearby rushed to help save their lives.
It was the actions of those Good Samaritans that Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich credited Wednesday for saving his deputies' lives.
Krista Crawford and her fiancée Thomas had just gotten home from work. Shortly after that they heard a lot of commotion. When they looked down the road, they saw Spink and Northway had been shot and blood all over the ground.
"We are like 'Oh my gosh, we need to help.' Other than that there was no one around, we need to go see if they need any help," Krista Crawford said.
Crawford, who is an occupational therapist, ran to aid Deputy Northway, who had been shot four times.
"I grabbed an arm and covered it and just kind of waiting and was trying to talk to the officer during the whole thing to keep him awake," she said.
Her fiancée Thomas Deo, meanwhile, did everything he could to help.
"I was just trying to help, I was getting gauze, just trying to make the officers as comfortable as possible," he said.
Instead of running from the danger, they ran to it.
"It was kind of instinctual really, I saw someone down, someone hurt, and there wasn't anyone else around, I'm not going to just leave him there," Crawford said.
Another neighbor who witnessed the incident was Rick Jacks, who couldn't believe what happened in his neighborhood.
"We were all walking together down here and the squad cars were sitting right there," he said. "She yelled 'Oh my God' and started running. That's when I realized something was wrong."
That's when Jacks' training and experience as a former Deer Park EMT kicked into action.
"There was a squad car backed up here at an angle this way and his rear tire was hitting the curb. Mike was right about here. Half on the curb and half off," Jacks recalled.
Jacks said that Northway was shot in the wrist, leg and arm; he held the deputy's head and asked him questions to test his mental state while Crawford applied pressure to his leg to help stop the bleeding and keep him alive.
"I think the fact that they were alert and conscious and able to talk was definitely good news," Jacks said.
With Northway so grievously wounded, its not known if he would've survived if it hadn't been for the quick thinking and action of the Good Samaritans who ran to their aid.
"I don't know, you just saw the need and it just kicks in and you go and do what you have to do," Jacks said.
If you ask them if they consider themselves heroes for stepping in to help save the deputies' lives though, Krista Crawford said they were just in the right place at the right time.
"I don't really feel like a hero, I just feel like I did what I needed to do," she said.
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