Blue Lives Matter Spokesman, Lt. Randy Sutton, Has Emotional Reunion With Veteran He Saved
Randy Sutton Reunites With Veteran Whose Life He Saved
Las Vegas, NV – Blue Lives Matter’s National Spokesman, Lt. Randy Sutton (Ret.), went from working in law enforcement to advocating for law enforcement and working to build bridges in the community. Just recently, his 34 years in law enforcement came full circle when a military veteran he saved 15 years ago saw him on TV and reached out to him.
Stephanie Winfield was a navy veteran who had hit bottom. “I had been drinking,” she said. “I had gotten really, really tired of all the hurt and pain I was feeling and I didn’t know how to deal with it.”
That’s when Winfield says she hatched a plan to call police to her Embassy Suites hotel and produce a gun, forcing the officers to shoot her. “Suicide by police because I was too much of a coward to do it myself,” she said. Thankfully for her, Sergeant Randy Sutton with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was one of the responding officers that day in 2001.
“It was very tense,” Sutton recounted. He entered the hotel room where officers were trying to talk to Winfield as she threatened to jump off of the balcony before producing a gun. Sutton was quickly able to determine the gun wasn’t real at which point he was able to put that threat aside. “The nightmare here is that suddenly a gun is produced,” Sutton told KTNV.
“When you are in such an intense situation in such close proximity, you use all of your training experience and your gut..you pray it’s going to be the right decision. When I realized that threat wasn’t there, I was able to move forward,” he said. At which point she dropped to her knees and collapsed in his arms sobbing.
“We didn’t need to end it like that. We were able to instead get her the help she needed,” Sutton said.
Winfield spent the next many years searching for the officer whose quick-thinking assessment saved her life. She never knew his name but never forgot his face.
A few weeks ago, she saw Randy Sutton on TV, during a Crime and Safety Analysis on Channel 13 in Las Vegas. She immediately recognized him as the man who saved her life. Winfield found him on Facebook and the two were reunited during an emotional meeting back at the corner of Paradise & Twain. “I thank you so much for saving my life,” she told him.
“We rarely understand how our lives touch others, especially in moments of crisis and we rarely hear from those people again. So many years later to have that moment where you realize you had an impact that changed someone’s life so dramatically, it’s amazing,” Sutton said. “It’s about legacy.”
The untold story is how often suicide by cop happens. After such a traumatic incident, Sutton says there are more affected than just the individual. “Its not just those lives that are lost. It’s the life of the person that was killed but also the law enforcement officer and their families.”
There is no clear number on just how many individuals die every year from suicide by cop but it’s estimated to be high. Thankfully, this was one less.
Our hats go off to you Randy. We are proud to have you on our Blue Lives Matter team.
Lt. Randy Sutton (ret.) is the National Spokesman for Blue Lives Matter. He is the host of the Blue Lives Radio podcast, and author of A Cop’s Life. Anybody can become a Blue Lives Matter member and help save lives by joining on our Membership page.