CLEBURNE (CBSDFW.COM) – Dave Blankenship is a first responder as a detective for the Johnson County Sheriff’s department, but he never thought he’d be the first one on the scene after a Montague County Deputy was shot by a Colorado murder suspect.
Blankenship and his mother, Billie Shaw, a nurse, were headed to Wichita Falls along 287, when Blankenship spotted a marked sheriff’s vehicle with its lights on.
“I didn’t see an officer inside the vehicle. There was no car in front of it that he had stopped, which I thought was a little odd,” he said.
Out of the corner of his eye, as they sped away, Blankenship spotted what he thought was a body or a someone lying on the shoulder.
Like any good peace officer, he turned around to investigate.
That’s when he saw Montague County Deputy James Boyd.
“I let him know that I was a peace officer and I was there to help. I could see that he was critically injured with a head wound,” he said.
He called for his mother to help cover up Boyd’s head wound.
Despite Boyd’s critical injury, he was able to tell Blankenship that he’d been shot. He also described the suspect’s vehicle and knew which way the suspect had fled.
“He was very alert. I’m so proud of him to go through such a heinous incident like that, to be able to keep his wits about him,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship used Boyd’s radio to call for help.
Meanwhile, Shaw used one of her son’s jackets to apply pressure to his head wound.
“I just think it was God’s grace that we were there and hopefully we gave him a little comfort before help arrived,” Shaw said.
Only later did they find out the same suspect, Evan Ebel, was later involved in a shootout with more deputies.
“I’m just extremely proud that it ended the way it did and he was able to be stopped from hurting anyone else,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship had made a stop just before encountering Boyd. Had they not made that stop, they would have missed seeing Boyd.
Looking back, Blankenship and his mother say they were placed there through Divine intervention.
“I guess that was God calling on us to stop to be able to assist that officer,” he said. “Truly, Deputy Boyd is a hero.”
“Everyone should be proud of him. The way he conducted himself, I think he should be the hero,” Shaw said.
Deputy Boyd remains hospitalized at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. He is expected to make a full recovery.
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