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17-Year-Old Girl Helps Save Wounded Officer Seeing Him Shot In Gun Battle With Suspect

Excelsior Springs, MO – A 17-year-old girl helped save an Excelsior Springs police officer after he was repeatedly shot on Saturday night by a fleeing suspect with a history of assaulting law enforcement officers.

The incident began at approximately 5 p.m. on Oct. 1 when officers with the Excelsior Springs Police Department (ESPD) spotted 64-year-old Carl Carrel in the parking lot of a Price Chopper store near Crown Hill Road and Kearney Road, KMBC reported.

The officers knew Carrel had an active warrant for assault on a law enforcement officer, so they attempted to stop his vehicle in the parking lot, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).

The suspect allegedly refused to pull over and pulled out onto Kearney Road, KMBC reported.

One of the officers pulled in behind Carrel’s vehicle while the other used his patrol car to block the suspect’s escape route from the front, the CCSO said.

A witness told the Excelsior Citizen that the suspect rammed his truck into one of the patrol cars multiple times before he finally stopped his vehicle.

That’s when the suspect allegedly pulled out a gun and opened fire on the officer who was in front of his vehicle, KMBC reported.

The officer was shot in his shoulder and wrist during the attack.

The officer who had blocked Carrel in from behind returned fire, hitting the gunman in the head, the CCSO reported.

Carrell died from his wounds at a local hospital, according to the Excelsior Citizen.

Ava Donegan, 17, said she and her boyfriend were waiting at a red light at the intersection of Corum Road and Route 10 when Carrel shot the officer right in front of her vehicle, KMBC reported.

“I saw the cop get out of the car and then I saw him get shot a few times,” Donegan recounted. “After that, we both ducked, and he started calling the police.”

“The cop who was shot was right in front of my car. He was asking me to get out and help put his tourniquet on,” she told KMBC. “He told me that it was completely numb, and his hand was completely limp.”

The teen jumped in to help the officer secure the tourniquet before she assisted him in removing his ballistic vest and calling for help over the radio.

“When I realized he needed help, it all was instinct,” Donegan said.

The wounded officer was rushed to a local hospital and was later listed in stable condition, KMBC reported.

The officer will need additional surgeries to repair the damaged caused by the bullets, according to the CCSO.

Donegan, the daughter of an intensive care unit nurse, said she was familiar with how to use tourniquets and that she is interested in working in the medical field after she finishes her senior year of high school, KMBC reported.

“I’m just glad that he is okay,” she said of the wounded officer. “That gives me a good peace of mind.”

CCSO spokesperson Sarah Boyd said the fatal officer-involved shooting marked a “horrible day” not only for the suspect’s family, but for the officers who came under attack, KMBC reported.

“No officer ever wants to have to do that. They don’t want to have to use force like that. They don’t want to have to hurt a member of the community,” Boyd said. “But it was a life-or-death situation, it appears in our initial investigation.”

The CCSO is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, The Kansas City Star reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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