Graphic: Officer Has Fractions Of A Second For Life Or Death Decision

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A Douglas County deputy stops to assist a stranded motorist and ends up being forced to make a life or death decision in fractions of a second.

At around 6:45 pm on May 12th, deputy Proulx, with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, stopped to assist a stranded motorist. Deputy Proulx got out of his patrol car and approached from the passenger side of the vehicle. The driver, 25-year-old Deyon Marcus Rivas-Maestas, appears to signal to the deputy that he can’t roll down the passenger window. The deputy makes his approach behind the vehicle to the driver side.

As the deputy is coming around the back left of the SUV, Rivas-Maestas lunges at him with a rifle. From the body camera footage, it appears that the suspect intended to hit the deputy with the butt of the gun. The deputy falls back and makes a split second decision to fire his service weapon at his attacker. It appears that he fires once, then another time as Maestas runs around the front of the SUV. Blood from Maestes can be seen spattered on the SUV, a shot to his arm took the fight right out of him. For the remainder of the video, he can be seen on his knees, cradling his arm, and apologizing to the deputy.

This could have ended very differently if Maestes had decided to shoot the deputy or if the deputy made the wrong decision in that split second. Luckily the officer was on point, and made the right call. These are the decisions that law enforcement officers are forced to make in a fraction of a second every single day.

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