DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - According to the DeKalb County Police Department, emergency room doctors credit two young officers for saving the life of a 43-year-old man who was shot in the leg during a home invasion near Stone Mountain.
Police released video exclusively to FOX 5 News on Friday. It came from the body cameras of officers DJ Brown and M. E. Hughes. In it, the officers can be seen with their guns drawn, searching the home on Arbor Stream Court just after 11 a.m. on Aug. 16.
"When we arrived we saw a man on the floor in a pool of blood. He had been bleeding out for a while so officer Hughes called for paramedics to come as fast as possible," Officer Brown told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner one day after the home invasion call.
The officers said it was hard to determine where the man was hit, but knew he had been shots given the volume of blood.
"I was in shock and wasn't sure he even had any signs of life and I just did what I had to do because I wanted him to make it. I couldn't have taken the burden of him not making it," said Officer Hughes, who graduated from DeKalb's Police Academy in 2017.
Hughes ran back to her patrol car, grabbed her medical kit, and ran back inside the kitchen where the victim was moaning in pain on the floor. She quickly applied a tourniquet to the victim's leg as Brown carried on a conversation with the victim to keep him alert.
"I had never done that before, but I had practiced it a lot in my police training and as a part of the Army National Guard," said Hughes.
The 43-year-old man was conscious and breathing by the time paramedics arrived and rushed him to the hospital. Both officers said they were relieved when they arrived at work at East Precinct and their sergeant told them the man had made it through the night.
They said their sergeant told them doctors credited their actions for saving the man's life. Both officers acknowledged the life-saving measures required good training and teamwork.
"That's just what we're supposed to do. It's part of our training and I hope it helps people see officers in a different light, not just a negative light that they see on that they see on social media. We wanted to help him and we're glad that he's going to get to go back home with his family," Brown said with a smile.
Investigator said the victim was not able to provide a good description of the two gunmen who broke into his home. The victim is expected to recover and declined to comment on camera, citing concerns about the gunman still being at large.