Estill officer recounts horrifying New Year’s Day; thanks man he - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Estill officer recounts horrifying New Year’s Day; thanks man he credits for saving his life

(Source: 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office) (Source: 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office)

We’re getting a closer look at a 2016 shooting in Hampton County that left an officer severely injured. Quincy Smith is still recovering after being shot multiple times.

WTOC sat down with the officer Friday afternoon and with the person he says is responsible for saving his life.

Quincy Smith says he was born with blue blood in his veins. His mother, a former NYPD officer, first introduced him to the field. His love for the community helped him make a commitment to the badge.

He recaps that rainy day in January when a routine call from dispatch made a quick turn for the worse.

With only five months on the streets of Estill, Smith would initiate a traffic stop that would change his life forever. It started as a routine call from dispatch that someone was stealing customer's groceries from in front of a store in Estill.

Officer Quincy Smith responded. 

Smith spotted the described subject and approached him to remedy the situation. That's when the suspect ignored Smith's commands and pulled out a gun and fired 8 shots towards the officer.

Minutes later - a bystander had to call for back-up. 

"The first shot hit me in the neck and it felt like something flicked me in the neck," said Officer Quincy Smith. "I saw his hand movement, I didn’t see a gun. I heard the sound and I felt the pressure on my neck. It was enough force to knock me on my back."

The first person on the scene was a construction worker who heard the shots ring out. 

“I thought I was going to die right there. I told dispatch to tell my family I love them because I didn’t think I was going to make it. But miraculously a bystander, Jon Tompkins, he was my angel," said Smith.

Tompkins, heard in the video, asks Smith how he can help. He says he went to check out the situation because he thought the officer shot the suspect.

“I wanted to be somebody’s witness," said Tompkins. "I went back there to be a witness. I didn’t know, and with all the negative publicity, I didn’t know what was happening but I felt someone needed to see. I could see that he had his radio in his hand but at that time he slumped over and fell out the vehicle.”

Tompkins actually gave Smith's exact location to dispatch and was the first person to call 9-1-1. Smith recounts the moments before Tompkins found him on the ground outside of his vehicle.

"I get out my vehicle, I asked the guy come here for a second. I gave him multiple commands to come here. He pretty much had the demeanor like he was ignoring me. I didn't see a threat at that moment when I first initially walked to him. I didn't see his hands because they were concealed so I drew my taser. I got so close to him. He didn't think about it and came out his jacket pocket and shot me," said Smith.

The whole situation was caught on camera. A purchase Smith made when he first started the job. A purchase that would help keep his attacker behind bars.

(Graphic Video shows the moment Officer Smith was shot. Video may be disturbing to some.)

“I went on Amazon and I looked up body cameras I saw them for $200-$300. I kept doing a deeper search and here some glasses that happen to pop up and I thought, 'hmmm interesting these look neat,' and they were only 30 bucks so I was like you know what I’m going to try these out,” said Smith.

The video of the entire incident captivated jurors during two day trial, and eventually helped convict Smith's attacker. The jury only deliberated for 45 minutes before coming back with a guilty verdict.

And those very glasses helped convict the shooter, Malcolm Orr, here at the Hampton County Courthouse. Where he was sentenced to 35 years for the shooting and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Orr fired 8 shots in total at Officer Smith. Three of which hit him, one in the neck, one in the arm, and the other in his magazine pouch.

But video captured more than just the shooting. The video shows how Tompkins came to Smith's aid. Smith says this bystander who stayed with him helped save his life.

"I just wanted him to feel like he was going to be okay because sometimes that's what people need when they're in that position. They just need to feel like they're going to be okay. He looked rough. I didn't know if he was going to be okay," said Tompkins.

"That gentleman is the most outstanding person I have ever met and, like I said, if there is anything I can do to repay him I will do my best to do it," said Smith.

Smith says he is waiting to be cleared by one more doctor before he can try and return to work. He's been on medical leave since that incident. He says the wound in his neck caused permanent damage to one of his veins.

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