THOMASVILLE — Officers from three law enforcement agencies are credited with saving lives in a Saturday double street shooting.
Two Thomasville Police Department officers were assisting with a medical call at Smith Avenue and South Broad Street about 1:40 a.m. Saturday when they heard gunshots and responded to the direction of the sound.
Near the intersection of Park Avenue and Grant Street, an officer saw a vehicle that had crashed into trees. Another TPD officer, a narcotics agent and a Thomasville Post 12 Georgia State Patrol trooper also responded. Officers realized someone was in the vehicle.
"When they removed him from the car, they realized he had been shot," said Lt. Toby Knifer, TPD Criminal Investigations Division commander.
Other officers responded to nearby Grady Street and a second shooting victim.
At the time, responding officers, who began CPR and other life-saving procedures until the Thomas County Emergency Medical Service arrived, did not know the shooting victims had been shooting at each other. Knifer said it was assumed the injured males were a shooting victim and a suspect.
CPR and measures to stop and control bleeding ultimately saved both victims' lives, Knifer said.
"It was three different agencies doing an outstanding job," the commander said.
The officers were "cool and collected" and kept both victims conscious and talking, Knifer added.
"In my eyes, everyone of the officers is a hero in my book," Knifer said. "They did everything within their power to save both of these individuals' lives."
A shooting victim can die from loss of blood before EMS arrives to transport the wounded, Knifer said, adding that life-saving measures are needed immediately.
Law enforcement officers receive first responder-type training and are equipped with medical kits.
"It's not just enforcing the law, it's helping people," the commander said. "They went above and beyond their duty in this call."
The crash victim is a patient at Archbold Memorial Hospital. The other victim was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital. Both are in critical condition.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820