There was a brief moment where I thought, “I didn’t shoot yet!” ...
It was at that time that the physical pain hit me. The main portion of the bullet tore through my tibial artery and severed all of the nerves to my lower leg.
With all the nerves severed the pain was excruciating and it felt like my leg had been torn off because of the nerve damage.
“signal 50, signal 50, I’ve been shot.
After putting out the radio traffic I then looked back to my leg where I realized the wound was apparently arterial.
“Fucking shoot her, I need you!”
I believed that I was going to die because I felt myself beginning to lose consciousness.
I remember thinking of my 2 month old daughter and my 3 year old daughter, The exact thought is still very clear to me,
“Please God give me strength, I can’t let them grow up without a Dad”.
My final thought of survival was of my wife, Heather and I squeezed my leg with my own hands acting as a tourniquet....
and God gave me strength.
HEAR ALL OF THE DETAILS TOLD BY JONATHAN IN THE AUDIO LINK BELOW:
Who is Houston Gass?
Sean is Married to Kim, and has been for 26 years. He is the father of 2, now adult, children.
Sean proudly served in the U.S. Navy 90-94 in the Gulf War, attached to the VA-75 Sunday Punchers launching war planes from the JFK aircraft carrier. Sean began to develop issues that would later be diagnosed as PTSD from his time at war but refused to get help. In 1994 on January 20th a series of life events occurred that furthered Sean down the path of PTSD to include: the death of his father's best friend from an accidental gunshot wound, his uncle Charles choking to death and the death of Sean's sister in a tragic auto accident.
Sean moved on with life but never dealt with the losses in his life. In 1998 Sean graduated with honors from police academy and started his journey in Law Enforcement. On August 24th, 2001 two of Sean's personal friends and fellow law enforcement officers were shot in the line of duty. Eric Brill and Terry McDowell were both shot in the face and neck while delivering a parking ticket. Eric survived but Terry was executed in front of Eric. November 6th, 2001 a dear friend of Sean, and Ohio state trooper, Franky Vasquez was struck and killed by a drunk driver on the side of the highway.
These incidents all were contributing to a cumulative PTSD in Sean that many officers have and go without diagnosis.
In 2003 Sean was hired by Cobb County Police, a premier law enforcement agency in Georgia at that time.
During a search for robbery suspects in 2006 in some ghetto apartments Sean was ambushed a suspect. The suspect aimed at Sean aimed his handgun at Sean and pulled the trigger several times but the weapon didn't fire. Sean was so stunned that he hadn't been killed that the suspect got away. Sean never told anyone about the incident until many years later. This incident along with all the other things in Sean's life began to really compound in his personal life, towards himself, his family and the public. As Sean continued to ignore the emotional breakdown he became more and more harsh and violent.
In 2009 Sean was involved in a vehicle chase of an armed robbery suspect. The suspect had robbed a Walgreens and led Sean on a long high speed chase that terminated in Atlanta. As the vehicle chase ended the suspect exited the vehicle and pulled what Sean perceived was a weapon and turned while on the run to aim at Sean. Sean shot the suspect 6 times while on the run. It was later found that the weapon was a vacuum hose in the shape of a gun. Sean struggled emotionally after the shooting but was told by his supervision that if he asked for help he would be helped but the department would likely take him from the road and put him behind a desk.
Sean's last night as an Officer with Cobb occurred in 2011. Immediately after Roll Call Sean's beat partner called for backup. When Sean arrived on scene Sean saw a male sitting behind the driver seat of a vehicle and heard his partner yelling at someone down the hill to his right. At the same time Sean arrived a drug task-force officer arrived. Sean was approaching the vehicle from the rear and the other officer was approaching from the front. The drug task-force officer had the white male get out of the vehicle. Sean was just behind the drug officer at this time and during the course of their exchange the male exclaimed, "Not today!" and dove into the car as the drug officer attempted to stop him from getting into the vehicle. Sean initially pulled his taser but then the male put his hand on the floor of the car near the seat and shoved his hand in the front of his pants... Sean was screaming No! No! No! as he pulled his weapon and fired on the threatening suspect. Everything was slow motion.
As the drug officer fell safely out of the way Sean watched the male fall to the ground and began gasping for air and crying. The male began yelling, No! as Sean yelled at him to take his hand out of his waistband. The entire scene was dark and in slow motion according to Sean. It is at this time that Sean realized the suspect was not looking at him but to his side. In this moment Sean believes that he was seeing into the spiritual realm as the remaining scene unfolded because he saw a dark, ugly and unhappy spirit come out of the man. The spirit mirrored Sean as he attempted to back away from it but it never moved towards him. Sean was frozen as other officers arrived to help on the scene. As Sean watched from his patrol car the medics loaded the male into the ambulance. The spirit continued to stare at Sean until the ambulance left. Once the ambulance left everything became brighter and resumed at normal speed. The male didn't survive.
The department only agreed to pay for three treatments for Sean from this incident. During the investigation from the shooting Sean and his family received death threats from the deceased's family and so Sean resigned from Cobb and moved out west.
He was employed at a law enforcement agency out west but the compounding PTSD and Major incident PTSD really took its toll in the form of blackouts and violence. This eventually culminated in Sean planning to kill himself before finally getting help. Sean has since made a full recovery and believes like all of The EmPowered Project team that his story was written to help others.
Who is Jeff Wolfgang?
WHO IS JON VALAA?
Jon is a decorated, 22 year veteran of a Sheriff’s Office in Colorado. His experiences include Detentions, Patrol, Investigations, and Special Operations. He is currently a patrol and bomb squad sergeant, and SWAT breacher and has over 19 years experience as a bomb technician. During his years on the job he has responded to national high profile incidents. Jon is also the president and co-founder of the United States Bomb Technician Association. Along with his passion for helping the bomb technician community, he is passionate about the well being of the first responder community.
Who is Christine McIntyre Hurley?