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Injured officer speaks out for the first time since shooting

Partner applied life-saving tourniquet
Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 17:23:21-05

TOWSON, Md. — An armed fugitive from Pennsylvania wanted for attempted murder holed up in a Northeast Baltimore apartment complex.

That set the stage for a hail of bullets, which left an officer we can only identify as Detective Swinney battling for his life.

"I felt a burning in my stomach,” recalled Swinney. “I didn't know my leg. I just felt a cramp like I was dehydrated type of cramp."

A fellow officer put Swinney in his unmarked car, applied a tourniquet to his injured leg and sped away from the scene.

"My teammates started with taking care of me," said the injured officer before stopping short to fight back his emotions.

Bleeding profusely from his wounds at the time, Swinney now struggles for the words to describe the actions, which would end up saving his life.

"From the time my injury occurred to the time I got to Shock Trauma was only about 14-to-16 minutes, and my partner drove his butt off to get me there."

Dr. Thomas Scalea, the physician-in-chief at Shock Trauma, spoke to the life-saving effort of Swinney’s partner.

"There's very little question in my mind had he not had the tourniquet applied then he may not have survived to get to the hospital," Scalea told reporters hours after the shooting.

The life-saving efforts continued at the trauma center where doctors could assess the damage.

"I have a wound right below my belt line and then I have a wound in my left calf, but they did a special procedure on my leg where they sliced open both sides of my calf,” said Swinney, “I have 30 stitches down both sides of it right now."

Injuries, which will take time to heal that have taken the officer off the streets and away from his dangerous warrant duty for the first time after decades of service.

"I'm ready to get back to work,” Swinney told us. “This is not a deterrent for me. I love my job. Like I said, my department is great. That's why I've been here 31 years."

Police later discovered the subject of the warrant, 33-year-old Michael Marullo, who was shot and killed at the scene never got off a single shot.

The incident is still under investigation.