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Salem Officer Shot Multiple Times Saved By Ballistic Vest, Tourniquet

Salem Police Officer Michelle Pratt was shot multiple times but she was saved by her ballistic vest and a tourniquet.

Salem, OR – The Salem police officer who was shot multiple times on Tuesday night survived her wounds only because of her ballistic vest and her ability to apply a tourniquet to her wounds.

The Salem Police Department identified 50-year-old Officer Michelle Pratt on Friday as the officer who was wounded during a traffic stop on May 14, the Statesman Journal reported.

A video captured by a nearby home surveillance camera showed the exact moment when 38-year-old Jaime Lee Jimenez opened fire on Officer Pratt and she stood directly next to his vehicle.

The incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on May 14 when Officer Pratt made a traffic stop in the 500-block of Highland Avenue Northeast, KPTV reported.

In the surveillance video, the officer was talking to the driver of the van, later identified as Jimenez, while a passenger appeared to be getting out of the front seat.

All of a sudden, the driver opened fire on the veteran female police officer, the video showed.

Officer Pratt turned and bolted away, toward her patrol vehicle.

She was hit multiple times, according to KPTV.

The shooter fled in the silver minivan, leaving the passenger on the sidewalk, the video showed.

Officer Pratt radioed dispatch.

“I’ve been hit multiple times,” she said. “Vehicle just took off northbound. I need medics. Code 3.”

Then Officer Pratt was asked where she was hit.

“At 5th and Highland. I need medics. Code 3. Been hit three times,” she advised. “Applying a tourniquet on my leg. I was hit in left arm and once in my vest.”

Then Officer Pratt used the first aid trauma kit provided to each officer by the Salem Police Department to apply a tourniquet to her own leg and treat her left arm, the Statesman Journal reported.

Her vest blocked the bullet that struck her chest.

The wounded officer was transported to Salem Hospital where she was treated.

Officer Pratt was later released and is now recovering at home.

Although she became a member of the police force in 2012, the wounded officer was involved with the Salem Police Department for many years before that, the Statesman Journal reported.

Officer Pratt began as a volunteer advocate on the Domestic Violence Response Team in 2005 and then became a community service officer in 2011.

She became a police officer a year later and has served on the Patrol Division since then, the Statesman Journal reported.

Officer Pratt also serves as member of the Salem Police Honor Guard.

The suspect’s van was found abandoned a short time after Officer Pratt was shot and tactical teams, including police K9s, conducted the initial search of the area where it was found, KPTV reported.

After four hours of searching, tactical units turned the investigation over to detectives.

But they were called back in soon after when police received information that Jimenez was holed up in an apartment complex near the shooting scene, KPTV reported.

Police surrounded the East Broadway Apartments and negotiated with the gunman for about a half hour.

The suspect was reportedly “worried about being injured” and had demonstrated “anxiety on his part,” the Statesman Journal reported.

The suspect took his time surrendering and eventually, SWAT officers deployed an explosive device to blow open the door of the apartment where he was hiding.

The suspect was taken into custody at about 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to KPTV.

Jimenez was charged with attempted aggravated murder with a firearm, second-degree assault with a firearm, and felon in possession of a firearm, the Statesman Journal reported.

He was arraigned on Thursday afternoon and ordered held without bail.

Police also arrested Amanda Cayetano, Jimenez’s girlfriend, for hindering prosecution, KPTV reported.

Court papers said that Cayetano was found hiding with Jimenez when he finally surrendered and that she had been the one who told the landlord not to call the police.

KPTV reported that Jimenez was also being charged with assault for beating up his landlord in September of 2018.

According to court papers, Jimenez punched his landlord five times in a dispute over money.

Sandy Malone - May Fri, 2019


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