NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (FOX 13) - As a Pasco County deputy continued his recovery Monday from a bullet wound that nearly killed him, the sheriff credited several people, including a good Samaritan neighbor, for helping save the man's life.
Deputy Chris Stone is stable and beginning his recovery, Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference. Stone was shot while he was responding to a domestic violence incident at a home on Humboldt Avenue in New Port Richey.
The incident began early Saturday morning when deputies were called about Terrance Peterson shooting at his wife's Amazon Alexa smart speaker device.
According to Nocco, when deputies arrived, Peterson barricaded himself inside the house. After trying to get him out for about 45 minutes, law enforcement began making their way into the home.
The sheriff said Peterson opened fire with three weapons, including a handgun and AK-47, creating a gun battle in a small neighborhood. One of the bullets ripped into Deputy Stone's leg, hitting his femoral artery.
"He shoots at us in that hallway, but then, as they're trying to pull out of the house because somebody is down," Nocco said. "That's just pure evil to be standing by your window and shooting at our members as they're trying to get another member help to save his life."
Two houses away from the shootout, retired New York firefighter Bill Ricci ran into the line of fire to help.
"There was a deputy that was no more than 15 yards in front of me that was basically screaming, 'Stone's down, Stone's down!'" Ricci told FOX 13. "I didn't know how bad he was hurt. But whatever it was, I'm just glad I was able to get out there and find it as quick as we did and save his life."
With Ricci's help, deputies found Stone's gunshot wound and wrapped it in a specialized tourniquet.
"Everybody is sending me messages, calling me a hero. I'm not a hero. I'm just a guy that did what had to be done. The real heroes are the guys that ran back up there and grabbed him and drug him out to the road," he said. "I'm glad he's going home to his family. I've got kids and I could never imagine what my kids would be thinking. having to live with everyday, losing their father."
"The easiest and fastest way to stop the bleed is to apply a tourniquet," said Deputy Chris Lofgren, who trains law enforcement to use the tourniquets. "In Chris Stone's situation, I was informed that his femoral artery was severed or damaged. You can bleed out from a femoral bleed in about two to three minutes, so getting that tourniquet on as soon as possible is very important."
The sheriff said that's why Ricci's help was critical.
"He got engaged. He saw what was happening. He saw the deputies get hurt," Nocco said. "I want to thank him very much because his assistance helped to save a life out there."
Peterson was found with a gunshot wound to his head, but still alive. His current condition is unknown and it's unclear if the wound was self-inflicted. The sheriff said Peterson will face a series of charges, including several attempted murder charges.