CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The call came in - a man shot multiple times. It was a chaotic scene at an apartment complex last August. Chesapeake Police Officers Cole Robinson and Erin Cutburth responded and immediately started working desperately to keep the victim alive.
Body cam video captures some of Officer Cutburth's interactions with the victim: "Hey, man - this is gonna hurt. I'm sorry, OK?"
But while trying to render aid, the crowd continued to grow, and fellow officers repeatedly have to remind spectators to give them space. In one body-cam video clip, one officer is heard being emphatic as some people were trying to enter the apartment, just inches away from where the victim was lying bleeding on the ground.
"No, you need to back up. No - back up! It's a crime scene... get out of the apartment! GET OUT OF THE APARTMENT! It's a crime scene; get out! You need to get out! Get out of the way!"
All this was going down while these officers are trying to give aid until medics arrived. Officer Cutburth remembers the chaos.
"We knew he'd been shot multiple times; we're trying to find every bullet hole; we want to stop all of the bleeding - trying to plug all of those bullet holes. People tried to go back into the apartment, which, at that point, it was a crime scene," she recalled.
She says they were trying to focus on the shooting victim.
"We're worried about him, so we had other officers clearing, trying to clear the building right in front of us where he had gone down in the doorsteps. There's chaos behind us - the suspect had left; we didn't know where he was, who he was. We're at a scene where someone just got shot - we don't know who is who around here.
"Is the suspect still among the people?"
And it got even more chaotic when a bystander hurled a barrage of profanity at one officer and was not listening to commands. An officer is heard on bod-cam video giving clear orders.
"That's it — back up! Back up— this is a crime scene! Get away!"
And then things turn physical and the officer gives a warning: "You hit me again, you're going to jail!"
Officer Robinson acknowledges it was a stressful time.
"In that situation, it's hard. You see your officers, your fellow officers that we consider family - like best friends - struggling with a man in the parking lot. Just our training, experience, things we're trained to do - we see and deal with through our careers in law enforcement, you know, I think helps prepare us for the moment," he said.
A moment that shows the challenging situations our first responders are sometimes facing.
So, at Chesapeake Police Headquarters, we had a little surprise. First, Chief Kelvin Wright spoke on the actions of his officers.
"I think what they did is reflective of the work that's done by our officers day in and day out. They are heroes; they are courageous - they're just awesome people, and we are lucky to have them working for Chesapeake," Chief Wright said.
For those reasons, News 3 presented the officers with an Everyday Hero award, plus a $300 visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.
To nominate someone for an Everyday Hero Award, click here.