Shooting survivor credits Willard policeman with saving his life

On the evening of June 22, Jason Long and his fiancé Amanda Bowser, were walking down the Frisco Trail in Willard when a car approached them.
“I made (Amanda) get behind me because it didn’t seem right to me that the car should be on that trail,” he said. “When I saw this man come up toward me, I saw this gun and I pushed Amanda down into the ditch. That’s when the guy swung his gun out the window and shot me.”
Officer Shawn Garner was the first person to arrive on the scene. Long said it was Garner who saved his life.
“Shawn showed up and kept me from bleeding out,” he said.
Garner said he wasn’t sure what to expect when he arrived on scene.

“I only knew there was possibly a suspect and one victim,” Garner said. “Once I got there, I realized that the suspect was (not there). I had located Jason; he was leaning up against a telephone pole on Highway 94 right by the trailer park. I immediately got out, started assisting aid with him. I noticed he had two gunshot wounds, so I applied bandages to those and held pressure while another officer secured the area.”
Garner was recognized for his actions at the Willard 70th Birthday Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 24 by Chief of Police Tom McClain.
“I don’t know if you guys know this or not,” McClain said to the audience that evening, “but a couple of months ago, a man and his partner were enjoying the Frisco Trail, like many of you do, when on that fateful night, he was shot. He stands here with us tonight, and he wanted to take this opportunity to face-to-face thank the young police officer who was there to administer immediate aid. According to Jason Long, Officer Garner saved his life that night.”
While Long views Garner as a hero, Garner said he was just doing his job that day.
“When we have incidents like that … our job is to secure the area and to render aid to them,” he said. “So, I did what any other officer would have done; I plugged his wounds and held pressure and waited for medical to arrive and for more people to be able to start our investigation. To me, I just did my job; to him, I saved his life and I’m glad that he’s okay and that he’s still alive.”
Long said he had to go through three surgeries and was in the emergency room for four days. Now almost fully recovered, he said he’s looking forward to returning to work.
The alleged shooter is Kwaim Allen Stenson, of Springfield. He remains in the custody of the Greene County Jail and faces charges of first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.


Lawrence County Record

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