UTAH

Officers burned while saving a suicidal man tell their side of the story

Apr 12, 2018, 6:02 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm
Picture: All four officers who were burned during the rescue gather to tell their story. Left to ri...
Picture: All four officers who were burned during the rescue gather to tell their story. Left to right: Sgt. Shawn Mckinnon, Officer Cade Bradshaw, Officer Lacy Turner, and Officer Robert Jackson on Skype from the University Hospital.

LAYTON – Officer Robert Jackson is still in the hospital. He has third degree burns up and down his calves and will need surgery. He still doesn’t know when he’ll be released from the hospital.​​​​​​​​

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been injured. It’s been scary and hard on my family,” Jackson said. “My family’s been supportive. They know why I go to work.”

He and three other officers were burned in the fire, after trying to wrestle a lighter out of a man’s hands after they say he made it clear he was planning to burn himself. Police won’t release many details on the circumstances, saying it’s still an open investigation, but the officers involved praised each other for their bravery that day.

“Officer Jackson made a very courageous move to go in and try to grab the lighter out of his hand,” said Sergeant Shawn Mckinnon, his voice cracking up as he explained that the flames that came afterward convinced him there was a good chance they were all about to die. “I mean you felt trapped. It was hard to get out of there.”

“I was scared obviously, for my fellow officers and the people in the gas station,” Jackson said. “My job is to protect lives. If I have to risk mine to save somebody else, I am going to do that.”

Officers Cade Bradshaw and Lacy Turner were also part of the effort to prevent the fire and save the suicidal man’s life. Bradshaw is still on leave, suffering burns to his forearms. Mckinnon and Turner have been released and are back on active duty. Turner said the transition hasn’t been easy, but the community support has helped.

“The outpouring of love and support from the community, other department, our department- I think it brings everyone together,” she said. “I think you feel a sense of family on all levels.”

If you or anyone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts please call the national 24 hour hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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