Deputy credited with saving LEO's life who was shot twice in the leg

Caitlin Emanuel was shot with her own weapon during a suspect struggle; Tyler Spell put a tourniquet on her leg and transported her to a hospital in his cruiser


By Sarah Calams

ROSEBORO, N.C. — Last week, a deputy was shot twice in the leg with her own service weapon during a struggle with a suspect. Now, a fellow deputy is being hailed a hero for saving his colleague’s life.

Sampson County Sheriff’s Deputy Caitlin Emanuel, who has been with the department for two years, responded to reports of a vehicle theft at about 2 a.m. on July 23. Shortly after making contact with the suspect, Emanuel called for backup. When Deputy Tyler Spell arrived, he discovered Emanuel had been shot in the leg, WRAL.com reported.

“Instantly, I knew that was a very dangerous area depending on which way the bullet went into her leg because other arteries in her leg, and I told her, I was like, ‘Caitlin, I’m going to have to pick you up and put you in the car because we’ve got to go,’” Spell recalled.

While on their way to a hospital, Spell stopped his patrol car to put a tourniquet on Emanuel’s leg.

“I put the tourniquet on her leg, tighten it down as tight as I could get. Check the clock at 2:20 to record for the hospital’s purposes. Got back in the car and continued to drive back to the hospital and got there as fast and safe as I could,” he said.

Emanuel called Spell her hero: “He saved my life. I will definitely say he is my hero.” But Spell said it’s the other way around: “I’m not a hero. I transported a hero.”

Emanuel, who is going through rehab to learn how to walk again, told WRAL that she hopes to rejoin the department soon after her recovery.

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