Tulsa Police Officer Recovering After Being Shot In The Chest

Sunday, November 12th 2006, 4:39 pm
By: News On 6

A man is under arrest accused of shooting an officer from point blank range.

Everardo Valencia-Tadeo is in jail in Tulsa County. He's being held on $75,000 bond for a complaint of shooting with intent to kill.

News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage says Officer Scott Osborn owes his life to his bulletproof vest.

It was just a typical traffic stop that landed Officer Scott Osborn in an ambulance. He stopped a driver swerving down the road, radioed for back up, and walked up to the vehicle. When he got there, the driver shot him through the window.

"The amount of time these things unfold in is microseconds," said Officer Scott Walton.

Walton says when officers stop a driver; they can never be 100 percent sure there isn't a gun hiding in the glove box or under the seat. "It's something we receive a lot of training on, something that training is updated on, but still there's multiple risks involved."

Osborn was shot point blank, dead in the chest, but survived thanks to his bulletproof vest. "We're just so thankful that he was able to survive this, and equipment and training and tactics were able to pull him through this," Walton said.

Officers say this is more than just a bulletproof vest. It's really body armor that can help save a life not only in a shooting, but also in an accident like a car crash. Officers say the flexible Kevlar vest can even stop a stabbing if a suspect comes at them with a knife.

The body armor is custom made for each officer, but each still gets a choice whether to wear it. This time, one officer wearing his vest, kept the whole department from wearing black ribbons.

Officer Osborn was taken to the hospital just to be safe. He'll be fine. His vest will be retired. The department says the vest's manufacturer will likely give him a new one at no charge, out of gratitude the first vest saved his life.