Bullet proof vest likely saved officer's life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bullet proof vest likely saved officer's life

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Johnny Sims Johnny Sims

Sylvester, GA - (WALB) - The Sylvester Police officer who was shot Friday night is now out of the hospital.

Officer Luna's bullet proof vest likely saved his life when a man grabbed his service weapon and shot him in the chest. And with police shootings on the rise this year, it's a reminder of the importance of those vests.

This incident happened when Officer Jonathan Luna along with a few other officers went to serve a warrant on a man. The suspect got into a struggle with Luna and grabbed Luna's gun and shot him in his chest.

Thankfully, officer Jonathan Luna religiously wears his vest to work.

Video shows officers leading 44-year-old Johnny Sims out of the woods following an intense manhunt. Sylvester Police officer Jonathan Luna was shot in the chest when Sims grabbed his gun during a scuffle.

"In the back of your mind, you are worrying about that officer that is in the hospital because no one knows his status," said officer Ronnie Graddy.

But thankfully, Luna was wearing his bullet proof vest, a move that could have saved his life. "There is no doubt that the vest saved officer Luna's life," said Chief Robert Jennings.

Just weeks ago, the Sylvester Police department implemented a mandatory wear policy, "It is up to the supervisors to make sure the officers are wearing the vest," said Jennings.

But co-workers say Luna wears his vest everyday regardless. "I knew Luna had his vest on and he has religiously worn his as part of his uniform ever since he come here," said Graddy.

Officer Ronnie Graddy says its easy to overlook the importance of the vest, especially in the heat. "He reminds an old guy, wear your vest you may not get a second chance," said Graddy.

But he says Officer Luna's shooting is a reminder for him and hopefully an example for other officers as well. "I made a solemn oath to my family that I would wear mine again religiously also... I'm wearing it today," he said.

After all, officers can control what they do to protect themselves but they can't control what someone else may do. "We never know when things like this might happen," said Jennings.

Co-workers say Luna is doing fine and is ready to return to work.

Luna is on administrative leave until the GBI finishes their investigation and if everything goes okay with the investigation he will return to work.

Sims was charged with Aggravated Assault on a police officer.

He also faces numerous charges stemming from a previous incident including aggravated assault, battery and terroristic threats.

 

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