SALEM, Mass. – A police officer owes her life to her ballistic vest and a tourniquet after she was shot on Tuesday while conducting a traffic stop.
Police say that 50-year-old Salem Police Officer Michelle Pratt was shot three times earlier this week, but her quick thinking and training saved her life. Her cries could be heard on the radio as she signaled that she had been shot in the vest, left arm and right leg.
“Michelle’s professionalism and courage were demonstrated by her quick reaction to the suspect’s attack,” Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore.
Pratt was able to apply a tourniquet to her leg to help stop the bleeding from the gunshot.
“She was calm and composed on the radio, and was able to self-administer her tourniquet until her cover officers arrived.”
Equipment and a quick reaction informed by training likely saved the life of Salem Police officer Michelle Pratt after being shot Tuesday night during a traffic stop.@CapiLynn has more about the veteran @SalemPoliceDept officer: https://t.co/9DffiTPITW
— 🌧David Davis🌧 (@DavidDavisSJ) May 16, 2019
The suspect fled the scene but was apprehended later that night after nearly 100 law enforcement officers including multiple K-9 units searched the surrounding area for him. The Salem SWAT team negotiated with the suspect at a Salem apartment complex. The standoff lasted less than an hour.
Police identified the shooter as Jaime Lee Jimenez, 38. He was charged with attempted aggravated murder with a firearm, second-degree assault with a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.
“We know that in policing there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop — and, yet, every day our officers put on their uniform and protect this community no matter the call,” Moore said.
Pratt was referred to as a veteran in Salem PD.
She originally joined the department in 2005 as a volunteer on the Domestic Violence Response Team. She’s received advanced training on domestic violence and and crisis intervention, and also serves on the Salem PD Honor Guard.
The Statesman Journal reported the event went down as follows.
“Pratt pulls over a silver 2004 Chevy Venture minivan around 8:30 p.m., requesting a second unit when a passenger exited the vehicle.
Moments later, shots are fired.
“I’ve been hit multiple times,” Pratt says to dispatch. “Vehicle just took off northbound. I need medics. Code 3.”
The seven-year veteran’s demeanor is relatively calm under the circumstances.
When asked where she’s hit, she reports: “At 5th and Highland. I need medics. Code 3. Been hit three times. … Applying a tourniquet on my leg. I was hit in left arm and once in my vest.””
Pratt was treated for the gunshot wounds at Salem Hospital and was released. She is on medical leave from the department.