MIDLOTHIAN — A gunshot victim is alive today due to the lifesaving efforts of Midlothian Police officer Matt Shipp.
On June 5 the evening shift began as business as usual for Shipp. That was until a shooting was reported in the Midlothian Walmart at 11:04 p.m.
“Officer Shipp and Sergeant Kyle Boyd we on call and were very near and immediately responded, arriving one-minute after receiving the call,” Police Chief Carl Smith said.
He explained many of the Midlothian officers carry a “Go Bag,” which contains tunicates, bandages and medical supplies in case they need to stabilize a victim at the scene until emergency medical services arrive.
On the evening of the shooting, it was the "go bag," along with Shipp's swift actions that helped save the life of the gunshot victim.
The victim had a single gunshot to the upper abdomen, which Shipp quickly utilized supplies from his bag to apply pressure on the wound.
According to Smith, the victim continued to have breathing problems.
“Officer Shipp knew the likelihood of an open chest wound. Officer Shipp rolled the victim on his side into the recovery position to aid in comfort and the ability to breathe," Boyd recalled. “He began breathing more comfortable as the best he could."
When medics from the Midlothian Fire Department arrived, Shipp advised them of the injuries while continuing to hold pressure on the gunshot wound. He maintained pressure on the wound while the victim was loaded into the ambulance.
“I believe the measures taken by Shipp were absolutely life-saving measures,” Boyd said.
For his actions, Shipp received the Midlothian Life Saving Medal and uniform ribbon from Smith. In addition, Midlothian Fire Chief Dale McCaskill presented Shipp with the MFD Lifesaving award certificate.
“This isn’t the first time he has been instrumental in saving a life or emergency medical help. He has been able to use his skills several times,” Smith said.
Shipp has been with the department since 2014 after eight years active duty in the United States Marine Corps. During active duty, he served in the infantry artillery and as a close quarters battle instructor. His deployments included Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba.
Since joining the department, Shipp has been recognized by his supervisors or peers 13 times and has received six citizen-initiated recognitions. He was named the officer of the quarter for both the first and second quarters of 2017.