Orange Park, FL – A five-months pregnant hero, Shelby Floyd-Berrios, rushed from safety to help a federal law enforcement officer who had been ambushed and repeatedly shot as he carried groceries to his car.
The incident occurred about 3:11 PM on September 26, as a pilot from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operation agency was carrying groceries into his car in a parking lot outside the Publix grocery store, according to News4Jax.
Shelby Floyd-Berrios, who is five-months pregnant, was at work inside the Great Clips Salon when she heard gunshots. She ran out of the salon and toward the parking lot, apparently not thinking about where the shooter might be.
She said, “I had no other option, I saw him go down, and there was no choice in my mind. I wasn’t going to let someone lay there and die.”
Her supervisor, Charlene Mann, said, “[Shelby] just said, I’ve been to nursing school and bolted. I was thinking about the shooter, and I know that she’s pregnant, so I didn’t want her to be the next person shot.”
Floyd-Berrios said that at first she didn’t realize the victim was a police officer until she was trying to help him and saw his uniform and gun. She also recognized him from being a client at the salon before, and said “He’s a really sweet and noble gentleman and he deserves our respect, he serves our community.”
She told the Daily Mail ‘I knew I had to do something. I found this agent down with multiple gunshot wounds and I just knew we needed to control the bleeding and keep him as calm as possible.”
Floyd-Berrios managed to control bleeding to one of the agent’s major wounds until EMS arrived. She said, “It was definitely important for me to make sure this agent, no matter what the outcome could’ve been, knew that he was not alone and that people who cared and wanted to help were there to assist and guide him through such a terrifying ordeal.”
Others rushed to help as well, including Publix employees and staff from a doctor’s office, who brought paper towels and gloves, and an unknown man who rushed to his car to get clotting agent.
The agent, who has not been identified, remains in critical condition.
The suspect, Thomas Jacob Lewis IV, age 18, came up from behind the agent and opened fire. It hasn’t been reported how many times the agent was shot, but witnesses report hearing four to five shots.
The motive appears to be that he wanted to murder a law enforcement officers.
There was no known previous contact between the agent and the shooter.
“It is disturbing. It is something that we live with each and every day, knowing that going out in our community there are individuals that would target us just for the badge we wear on our chest,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Investigations Wayne McKinney said.
“It is disturbing, but we’re trying to keep our feelings out of it at this time and conduct the investigation to the utmost of our abilities.”
After shooting the agent, Lewis drove a short distance away and shot and killed himself before his car crashed into other vehicles in the parking lot.