TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Body camera video shows the heroic efforts of police officers who saved the life of a suspected burglar after he was shot by a homeowner in Haines City, Florida. Police said the homeowner, who has a permit to carry concealed weapons, found two burglars standing in his kitchen early Friday morning and shot one of them.
The homeowner and his girlfriend fled the residence with their puppy and called 911. Police said the two suspects left the property before they arrived. K9s were able to track one of the suspects to a nearby park and found him under a pavilion.
“[Police] immediately changed (focus), changed gears, and went from a search and locate and apprehend, to saving this individual’s life,” Haines City Police Chief Goreck said. In bodycam video released Monday, the suspect is heard moaning in pain as officers rush to his aid. (This story contains only two snippets of the video due to the graphic nature of the footage.)
“I got a baby on the way, man,” he told officers. “You’re going to be alive and well,” an officer assured him.
The officers cut off the man’s pants and applied direct pressure to his wounds. They also used a tourniquet on his leg to stop the bleeding. “I need to squeeze somebody,” the man told the officers. “Squeeze my foot,” an officer said. “We’re not going to let you die.”
On Friday, Goreck said the man was in critical but stable condition. “These four officers were able to save this individual’s life. They were able to stop the bleeding enough so that when he was finally airlifted to a trauma center — Osceola Regional Medical Center — that at this moment he’s still alive,” Goreck added.
Goreck said the man faces charges of burglary to a residence and grand theft. Police were still working to identify the other suspect. The homeowner has been cooperating with the investigation is not expected to face charges, Goreck said.