Oklahoma City, OK - Video has been released from Officer Brian Southerland's dash camera showing him being shot on News Year's Day.
The incident occurred at around 5:30 PM Sunday on I-240 and Eastern Ave. Officer Brian Southerland was conducting a traffic stop when he saw another vehicle pass him, driving erratically. Officer Southerland broke contact with the vehicle that he had stopped in order to go after the erratic vehicle. The erratic vehicle, later determined to be driven by Cory Hartsell, stopped and Officer Southerland approached.Contrary to initial reports from officers on scene, Officer Brian Southerland never had a chance to make contact with the driver. Almost immediately upon exiting his patrol vehicle, Cory Hartsell opened fire on the officer.
Coming under fire, Officer Southerland quickly ran to the side of this vehicle for cover, but as he turned he was shot in the back of his leg, hitting his femoral artery. A heroic good samaritan stopped and recognized that the officer was bleeding to death, and quickly ran back to retrieve a crossbow string to use as a makeshift tourniquet. A deputy arrived and applied a tourniquet and they were able to stop the bleeding until EMS could arrive to transport the injured hero to the hospital.
Oklahoma City police officers later located and arrested the shooter, Cory Hartsell. Hartsell is being charged with shooting with intent to kill and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Having an artery hit, there's little chance that Officer Brian Southerland would have survived if not for the heroic citizen and deputy who stopped to apply tourniquets. Tourniquets are not commonly issued equipment to police officers. We recommend each officer carry at least two tourniquets on them at all times. Our favorite tourniquets are the RATS tourniquets for their ease of application, but CATS tourniquets also work well. If you know an officer who does not carry a tourniquet please get them one, or two.
Thanks to this citizen hero and deputy, Officer Brian Southerland went from the brink of death to stable condition. There is a GoFundMe page to help cover the officer's expenses while he is off work.
If you saw an officer down on the side of the road, would you stop to help? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.