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Good Samaritans saved officer’s life after he was attacked

<i>KNXV via CNN Newsource</i><br/>In a press conference discussing recent attacks on Phoenix police officers
KNXV via CNN Newsource
In a press conference discussing recent attacks on Phoenix police officers

By Lillian Donahue

Click here for updates on this story

    PHOENIX (KNXV) — In a press conference discussing recent attacks on Phoenix police officers, officials said that the actions of two good Samaritans saved an officer’s life.

On April 7, while escorting a man who was allegedly trespassing out of a gas station near 19th Avenue and Bell Road, the man pulled out a knife and attacked the officer.

Officials said that employees at the gas station rushed to the officer’s aide and fought the man, being able to subdue him until other officers arrived.

On Thursday, police said that the actions of those employees saved the injured officer’s life. The officer is still being treated at the hospital.

“There was a several-minute engagement with the suspect by two of our citizen heroes out there,” said Lieutenant James Hester with the department’s Violence Crimes Bureau. “They did an outstanding job. We’re very grateful for everything they did. They saved our officer’s life.”

Phoenix police say those good Samaritans are Jameel Kelewood and Luis Ozuna, who were working at the store when the incident occurred.

“As soon as the officer got struck, it pissed me off. So, I wanted to take him down,” Kelewood said. “He harmed an officer who was trying to do his job. Trying to go back to his family.”

ABC15 spoke with Kelewood as he was being awarded a life-saving medal and plaque in front of his colleagues at LionHeart Security Services Thursday evening.

“It makes me feel good, you know, somebody’s able to go back home,” Kelewood said.

QuikTrip Corporate Communications Manager Aisha Jefferson sent the following statement about the incident and the heroic actions of QT convenience store guard and Night Assistant:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Phoenix Police Officer who was stabbed by a suspect he was escorting from our store at 17th Ave and Bell Road. I can’t overstate our appreciation for him and the entire Phoenix Police Department. We wish him a full and speedy recovery. I also want to applaud the decisive and selfless actions of security guard Jameel Kelewood and QT Night Assistant Luis Dimayuga Ozuna. Their commitment to stopping and restraining the suspect most certainly saved the life of the injured officer after he was attacked. The level of violence our employees and law enforcement officers are subjected to on a daily basis is unacceptable and must be addressed. We are working closely with Phoenix Police and the Maricopa County Prosecutor’s office to ensure the suspect, John Liddell Jr., is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Our top priority remains the safety of our employees and customers, and we will continue to take the necessary and appropriate measures to ensure their safety and the safety of the communities we serve.” During the press conference, police also released a new video from March 30, when an officer was shot multiple times after he attempted to intervene in an armed robbery in progress.

That officer has since been released from the hospital and three people have been arrested in connection to that shooting.

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