On March 21, 2013 Deputy James Boyd of the Montague County Sheriff’s Office was on patrol on Highway 287 while a nationwide manhunt was underway for the homicide suspect for the deaths of Tom Clements, Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, and Nathan Leon, a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver. Deputy James Boyd observed a 1991 Cadillac with Colorado plates headed southbound and conducted a traffic stop just south of State Highway 59. The deputy approached the passenger-side of the vehicle and, as he neared the front passenger window, the driver fired four shots from a 9mm semiautomatic.
Deputy Boyd was struck center chest hitting his PROTECH® IMPACTM HT plate and ABA® Xtreme® HP IIIA armor, through his right shoulder uniform epaulet just missing his body, and in his left forehead just off center near the hairline. The fourth round missed Deputy Boyd completely, yet the round in his forehead caused him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.
The assailant then fled the scene and, within 30 seconds, Deputy Boyd regained consciousness and radioed for assistance. The deputy then broadcasted a description and direction of the suspect’s vehicle. Based on that broadcast, a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper and several Wise County Sheriff Officer Deputies caught up to the vehicle and engaged it in a high- speed pursuit. The suspect crashed in Decatur, Texas and engaged the officers in another shootout where he was mortally wounded.
Deputy Boyd was flown by helicopter to Harris Methodist Hospital where surgeons were able to remove the bullet and bone fragments from his brain. He is expected to make a full recovery and intends to return to full duty as soon as the doctors clear him. Surgeons, along with the Montague County Sheriff’s Office command staff and Deputy Boyd, all concur that the round that hit his center chest would have been fatal had it not been for his PROTECH IMPAC HT Plate and ABA XHP IIIA armor.
We welcome Officer James Boyd, SAVE #1844, to The Safariland Group SAVES CLUB®.