NORFOLK, Va. - During the start of afternoon rush hour July 10 last year, Norfolk Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Wright was leaving the jail at the end of his shift.
“As I exited the building, I heard rapid gunfire and immediately notified the other people around me that I heard gunshots and started running to the direction of the interstate because I could tell it was coming from that area," he recalled.
Interstate 264 runs directly behind the Norfolk Jail, where, according to Virginia State Police witness accounts, someone in one vehicle shot into another vehicle.
“So, as I approached that area I noticed there was some gentlemen outside their vehicle, and their vehicle was crashed up against the guardrail," Deputy Wright said. “I noticed that one of them had already been shot and was starting to pass out and fall down a couple of times.”
He ran to the man and quickly helped lift the gunshot victim over the guardrail to some medical personnel who had rushed to the scene.
“He acted like we all hope that we would act in the face of danger if there were shots being fired.”
“He ran towards the danger and took control of the chaos, and in my opinion, saved a life that day.”
The Norfolk Sheriff's Office helped us arrange a big surprise for the seven-year veteran at City Hall with his fellow deputies, his wife and the sheriff himself, Joe Barron.
That's where we awarded Deputy Wright with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.
“Completely shocked; completely surprised," he said.
His wife, Katie, tells me her stoic hubby is humble when it comes to all of this attention.
“He’s quiet, but he’s a person who will take charge when a situation arises," she said.
And after we gave him our award, one more perk for this unassuming hero - Sheriff Baron gave him the rest of the day off!
To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.