Officials in South Carolina released harrowing police bodycam footage this week showing an officer getting shot from just feet away by a suspect.
What follows in the video is an intense fight for survival, with the officer sprinting back to his squad car and calling for help as he bleeds from multiple and grievous wounds.
Be warned, the footage below – made public by the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office – is difficult to watch.
In it, Officer Quincy Smith of Estill, responding to a report of a "suspicious person" bothering shoppers on Jan. 1, 2016, approaches a camouflage-clad man named Malcolm Antwan Orr.
Officer Smith repeatedly asks Orr to stop and take his hand out of his pocket. The officer, getting no response from Orr, threatens to use a stun gun.
With no warning, Orr pulls out a gun and fires, repeatedly, from a few feet away.
The camera then rolls and bobs as Smith starts running back to his squad car while yelling "Shot fired!"
"Dispatch E7 I'm hit. I am hit. I am hit in my neck some place," Smith says once getting back to his vehicle. Here's the video:
"Please help me dispatch," Smith says to the operator after being asked if the suspect is still on the scene.
Smith eventually ends up on the ground outside his squad and is approached by a bystander who admits he doesn't know much about how to help. Despite his increasingly dire situation, the officer is able to say into his radio: "Dispatch, please tell my family I love them."
Nonetheless, the bystander continues to try to help, and Smith gets comforted by others on the scene, telling him to hang in there because help is on the way.
Smith is struggling, but aware during the video. He talks about his injuries, answers questions, and at one point when EMTs arrive, tells them to secure his glasses and the bodycam device attached to them.
A fateful decision
WJCL says the police department doesn't use body cameras. Smith bought some himself to wear on patrol.
This turned out to be an incredibly fateful decision, because that same bodycam footage was eventually used to help convict Orr at trial.
On Wednesday, a jury found Orr guilty of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Orr fired at Smith eight times, and Smith was struck at least three times. He had two broken arm bones and a neck injury that nearly killed him when a bullet completely severed a vein.
Another bullet passed through Smith’s upper torso and was taken out from his back.
WJCL reports Smith is still on medical leave, but wants to get back to work in 2018.
The BBC, citing FBI data, reported an average of 27 officers were killed in the U.S. every year over the past decade as a result of intentional gunfire (so not accidental shootings).