On August 12, 2019, Officers from the California Highway Patrol were preparing to tow a vehicle when the driver moved to his vehicle, retrieved a rifle, and opened fire. A 10+ minute gun battle ensued. California Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye Jr. was fatally wounded and Officer Robert Paul was critically wounded. Officer Paul suffered severe wounds to both legs but was able to return fire and continue to engage the assailant . Officer Ryan Smith arrived and immediately began taking fire on his patrol vehicle. Officer Smith began returning fire. After seeing Officer Paul in mortal danger, Officer Smith moved from cover ran to him. Officer Smith was hit in his hand, both legs and his torso. Though wounded, Officer Smith was able to drag Officer Paul 100 feet to safety and stay in the fight. The assailant fired over 120 rounds from his .556 rifle, and was fatally wounded by responding officers.
Officer Paul and Officer Smith were rushed to the hospital. Officer Smith’s Safariland® SX02 Level IIIA armor had taken multiple hits, but stopped the rounds to his torso. Both Officer Paul and Officer Smith recovered and were awarded the California Public Safety Officers Medal of Valor. Quoting the Award: “For their extraordinary bravery, heroism and courage in the face of imminent and personal life-threatening peril, Officer Paul’s and Officer Smith’s actions were above and beyond the call of duty and exemplify the highest standards of a California public safety officer.”
We welcome Officer Ryan Smith as SAVE #2130 to The Safariland Group SAVES Club®.
Saves Year to date: 5
Total Saves: 2130