Shot in the leg and hand, Pearl City Detective McCarley keeps head and stops attack

It’s a dangerous job.

One that thousands of men and women take on every day. It’s the job of America’s law enforcement officers.

Never knowing what’s around the corner, they put their lives in danger every day. Every time they walk through a door, perform a traffic stop or serve a warrant, there’s a chance that things can go wrong. That was the case in Pearl City, Mississippi when Detective David McCarley joined a group of fellow detectives to apprehend a sexual predator.

For his actions that day, Detective McCarley has been named the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2012.

The morning started straightforward enough. While serving a warrant, McCarley and a team of fellow Pearl City Detectives gained entry to the suspects home. Clearing the apartment room by room, the suspect suddenly darted from behind a wall and started shooting. Detective Walter, shot in the face, fell to the group. McCarley was shot in the hand and leg. It was his shooting hand. His middle finger was shot off. Even more troubling, the round had destroyed his gun.

As the shooting stopped and smoke loomed, McCarley found himself barricaded inside a room with the perpetrator and Detective Walter. Crazed and wounded, the suspect aimed his gun at McCarley. Officers outside where shouting, sirens were blaring and discarded police radios were calling out instructions. It was chaos. But through it all, McCarley kept his head.

Talking to the suspect, McCarley was able to inch closer and closer to his wounded comrade. Hoping to render aid, he convinced the suspect that he was of no threat. He could end the situation without any further bloodshed. Just let him help Detective Walter.

Whether he agreed or was distracted by the activity outside, the suspect allowed McCarley to reach Walter. While rendering aid, he saw Walter’s gun. There was a chance. But there was still the problem of his hand.

The hand that was shot, the hand now missing a middle finger, that was McCarley’s shooting hand. Even if he could get the gun out of its holster, how would he aim? What were the odds of hitting his mark? What were the odds if he did nothing? He had to act.

With the gun in his off hand, he whirled around and started shooting. The suspect returned fire. A few seconds later it was over. The suspect was dead.

“Detective McCarley’s story is an incredible testament to his bravery, commitment to his fellow officers and willingness to risk his own life to take out a deadly criminal,” said NRA President David Keene. “A true hero, Detective McCarley was an easy choice as this year’s NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”

Detective Walter passed away while being airlifted to the area trauma center. Detective McCarley has since returned to duty and continues to undergo reconstructive surgery and physical therapy for his hand. For keeping his cool and risking his life in an effort to aid a wounded comrade, Detective David McCarley of the City of Pearl Mississippi Police Department has been named the 2012 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Image courtesy NRA Blog

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