PLAINFIELD — An award was presented to commend Officer Jake Smith for his brave actions on March 25, while responding to a call of a person shot at the I-70 eastbound rest stop.
"He located the victim lying on the side of the road and immediately began accessing his injuries," Interim Chief Kyle Prewitt said. "Locating several gunshot wounds and applying a tourniquet to the victim's left arm to prevent significant blood loss."
The victim was Matt Roberts.
Roberts stopped to help a driver at the I-70 eastbound rest stop in his tow truck when he was shot multiple times. The shooter then took off in Roberts' truck.
Smith was the first officer to get to the scene and helped save Roberts’ life.
"It's very admirable what he did that day to save this man's life," Deputy Chief Joe Aldridge said. "And to have the thought to do all of that while a suspect was still at large."
In a room filled with city leaders, Plainfield police, family and citizens, Smith received the Lifesaver Award and a heartfelt message from the man who is lucky to be here today.
"I know each and every one of you would say, 'we're just doing our job,'" Roberts said. "But to me and my family, you doing your job at the best of your ability is the reason I stand here tonight. I thank you. I consider you as brothers and I can't wait to get back out there with you. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Stay safe, stay strong."
While Smith used life-saving measures on Roberts until medics arrived, he was able to relay important details about the suspect that helped officers quickly track him down.