Officer Tells Story Of Survival

Tuesday, November 14th 2006, 5:13 pm
By: News On 6

Officer Shot In Line Of Duty Speaks

A Tulsa police officer has now had a few days to reflect on being shot in the chest during a weekend traffic stop. The only reason he is alive right now is because of his bulletproof vest.

He talks about his experience exclusively to News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright.

Scott Osborn served in the Air Force, doing police work, so, it was only natural he'd want to become a police officer as his next career move.

Osborn graduated from the Tulsa police academy in June and spent 16 weeks riding with a field-training officer. He's been on patrol by himself for only five weeks and is lucky to be alive.

Officer Scott Osborn says hearing about police shootings and being involved in one, are two different things. He credits his training and his bulletproof vest for the fact he's alive, and he's very grateful for both.

His shift was almost over Sunday morning, when he saw a driver break some traffic laws and pulled him over. Scott stayed back from the driver's window, which was rolled up, and he could see the driver's hands on the wheel, then, everything changed in the blink of an eye.

"I tapped on the window and as soon as I brought my hand back, he spun on me. I was getting my weapon out and felt the shot. He shot through the glass and sped away," said Officer Scott Osborn.

Scott stayed on his feet and immediately took cover, and then told dispatch he was hit and gave a description of the car.

"It registered I'd been shot, but, I didn't know how bad it was. I knew it hurt and I knew I wasn't down and knew I had to stay in it," Osborn said.

His focus was finding the shooter until others officers arrived, saw the hole in his jacket, and asked him if he was okay.

"I started saying, I got to get this thing off. I don't know if it went in me," said Officer Osborn.

The bullet didn't go in him, but the impact did break the skin and leave a bad bruise.

Officers arrested Everardo Valencia-Tadeo, who still had the gun on him. Police say Tadeo fired five times.

"It's pretty spooky. I found out he took more than one shot and that really got me. How lucky am I that he didn't hit a vital organ or shoot me in the face or between the eyes," Osborn said.

Despite all that's happened so early in his career, Scott doesn't have any plans to switch jobs. He plans to keep serving and protecting the people of Tulsa.

"I'll go back to work. That's what I wanted to do and still want to do. It may be a few days before I'm ready, but, I'll be back."

As you can imagine, Scott's mom and dad and brother have been pretty emotional and are grateful he's alive.

Scott says he's experienced a wide range of emotions, but, mostly, he's just mad, wondering what the suspect was thinking.

Bulletproof vests are made of a special material designed to stop a bullet, but a metal plate worn over the heart gives added protection. It was that plate that saved Scott's life.