Winston, MO – A legally armed citizen helped save a wounded police officer from the inmate who shot her and tried to force her to help him escape on Friday.
The attack occurred just after 3 p.m., as 24-year-old Trenton Police Department (TPD) Officer Jasmine Diab was transporting an inmate from the Trenton jail to the Mosaic Hospital in St. Joseph for a mental evaluation, WDAF reported.
Officer Diab was approximately 30 minutes into the transport when the restrained inmate, 38-year-old Jamey Griffin, managed to gain control of the officer’s duty weapon inside the transport vehicle, according to WDAF.
Officer Diab was shot in the abdomen during the struggle that ensued, and Griffin was shot in the hand.
“The vehicle by that time came to a rolling stop on us 69 Hwy,” Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) Trooper Jake Angle told WDAF. “There were some citizens at the Pit Stop convenience store in Winston, Missouri, that I suppose sensed something wasn’t right.”
In a now-viral Facebook post, witness Michelle Weller explained that the suspect “was trying to force the wounded officer to drive” the vehicle away from the area.
A group of Good Samaritans also witnessed the attack, and pursued the transport vehicle down the highway for another quarter mile, Weller said.
One of the men was legally carrying a firearm of his own, and was able to corner Griffin at gunpoint, KCTV reported.
“One of these men was armed and was able to defend himself and others without even firing his weapon just by pointing it at the suspect!” Weller wrote. “Because he had his weapon these men were able to grab the suspect pull him out of the car and hold him down on the ground until officers arrived on the scene.”
If the Good Samaritan hadn’t threatened to use deadly force, the situation could have ended very differently, Weller added.
“In this case, they chose to intervene and come to an officer’s aid and subdue the suspect and possibly keeping him from escaping or doing more harm,” Trooper Angle told WDAF. “I am not advocating that people need to feel that they intervene in a situation this level, however, people chose to and in this situation it was critical.”
The critically wounded officer was transported to a local hospital by helicopter, and where she underwent multiple surgeries, KCTV reported.
Her condition has since been upgraded to stable, and she was laughing and smiling with visitors at the hospital over the weekend, according to WDAF.
Officer Diab, a single mother of a five-year-old daughter, was able to hold her little girl’s hand on Sunday, KCTV reported.
The wounded officer’s friend, Kendra Lickteig, said that Officer Diab is a fantastic mother.
“She loves her daughter, Lickteig told KCTV. “I mean, every mom loves their daughter, but that daughter is her baby. [She’s] so proud of everything she does.”
Officer Diab has been with TPD for two years.
Weller said she decided to publicize the heroic actions of the men who rushed to Officer Diab’s aid because their bravery deserved to be recognized.
“The media doesn’t want you to know this because it validates our second amendment right to keep and bear arms!” she wrote. “They only want you to hear about when guns are used to hurt innocent people so you will believe guns need to be outlawed to save lives but this is a lie.”
Weller argued that situations in which “a responsible law-abiding citizen” uses his or her weapon to stop criminals from harming others “happen far more often” than many people realize.
“Show these men how much we appreciate their bravery,” Weller wrote. “I think all of these men are heroes and I’m grateful they were there that day!”
“As tragic as this is that [this] has happened, God can make something good come from it and I feel like with what has happened to Jasmine, it has brought everyone close together,” said her friend, Mary Delile. “Not just our community but surrounding communities, strangers, people that have heard about it but don’t really know her, like wanting to help, it’s brought a lot of people together.”
Griffin has been charged with additional offenses of armed criminal action, first-degree assault, and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the attack on Officer Diab, WDAF reported.
He was already in jail for an assault charge when the incident occurred, and was previously convicted of multiple offenses including resisting arrest, drug possession, assault, and driving while intoxicated.