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IMPD officer's special first aid kit helps save the life of a shooting victim

Posted at 4:05 PM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 19:39:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A pair of Indianapolis police officers are being credited with saving the life of a clerk who was shot in the chest during an apparent robbery at a Family Dollar on the city’s east side. 

Officers were called to the Family Dollar on N. Arlington Avenue just after 9 p.m. on October 16 for a robbery and a person shot.

Officer Brian Sosbe was first on the scene and found the 18-year-old male clerk lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his chest. 

"I was six blocks away when the run came out," said Ofc. Sosbe. "I got employees screaming and yelling, 'he's been shot, he's been shot.'"

READ | Family Dollar store clerk shot during robbery on Indianapolis' east side

Ofc. Sosbe said the victim was screaming for breath and he recognized the type of wound from his training in the U.S. Army. 

"One of their big things for us in the infantry was being able to treat combat injuries," said Ofc. Sosbe. "Sucking chest wounds tend to be one of the bigger combat injuries so we had quite a bit of training on that in combat lifesaving courses."

When Officer Michael Deskins arrived on the scene he knew just what he needed to do and he ran to retrieve a "sucking chest wound" kit from his patrol car that he had purchased with his own funds. 

"I observed him saying 'air, air' and he had a hole in his chest," said Ofc. Deskins. "So I went out to my car and retrieved my first aid kit which I  applied a seal on the front of his chest to help air from entering his chest cavity."

The patch Ofc. Deskins used is not something that was issued by the police department, but something that he says he felt the need to purchase after a call he responded to in the past.

"About five or six years ago I went to a person stabbed, she was stabbed in the chest by a steak-knife and was suffering from a sucking chest wound," said Ofc. Deskins. "I didn't know what they were at the time but after talking with the medics and learning about what that was I wanted to be more prepared for it in case I came across something like that in the future - so I purchased one of my own."

Because of that kit – officers were able to keep the victim alive and had a bandage in place when EMS arrived. The victim was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition.

For officers Deskins and Sosbe, it was all just part of their job. 

"It's something that happens in this city on a daily basis with all of the officers out here," said Ofc. Deskins. "They do great work all the time, whether its Narcan or the trauma kits. It feels good, but its something that happens too often in this city."

The victim remains in the hospital but is expected to survive. 

Police are still looking for the suspect. He’s described as a heavy-set black male who stands about six feet tall. He was wearing a gray and green hooded sweatshirt at the time of the robbery.

Anyone with information on the suspect is urged to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-4677. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

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