Trooper Survived ‘By Grace of God’

A state trooper in Tyler, Texas defines the phrase “lucky to be alive.” On March 22, Steven Stone was shot several times at point blank range during a traffic stop by the two occupants of the pickup truck he pulled over. The drama was recorded on his dashboard camera. Stone survived injuries to his chest and neck.
On The Early Show Friday, Stone told co-anchor Harry Smith he “originally stopped them for speed(ing). When the suspects finally do stop, I ask the driver to get out, and he leaves his door open. That’s a pretty busy road. I didn’t want someone to pass by and hit his door. So I go back there to close it. When I do, I see an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle. I confiscate that, ask the driver if he has any weapons on him. He tells me he has a pocketknife. I take that from him or get that away from him. He gives me a Mexican driver’s license, and I was going to go back and run it (through the computer), but I wasn’t real comfortable. I start patting him down, and I find drugs (marijuana) in his coat.
“At that point, I was going to place him under arrest, and as I’m putting the handcuffs on him, I notice a pistol magazine in his pocket, and the passenger steps out, and things got real bad from there.”
As seen on the video, the two started shooting handguns at Stone. He says the first one hit him in his bulletproof vest. In all, he says he was hit two-to-six times, and rolled down an embankment. Asked by Smith how he managed to survive, Stone responded, “I wish I could tell you, sir. It’s by the grace of God that I’m here and have the ability to talk to you. After that first shot, my vision goes black. I didn’t know I had fallen or was rolling down the embankment or anything. I didn’t get my vision back ‘till I was already down in the embankment, and I — at that time, I was looking up at them firing down on me.”
They kept shooting, Stone says, until they ran out of ammunition.
He just had surgery and told Smith he has “some physical therapy ahead of me before I have an opportunity to go back to work.” Stone adds that he thinks his training also helped him stay alive. “Everything happened so fast,” he told CBS News, “I thought about my family and soon-to-be-two-year-old daughter. We are taught in the training academy, just because you’re hurt, doesn’t mean you give up and die. “ … I honestly don’t remember how I got back to the patrol car. I don’t know if I walked or crawled. I just don’t know. I just remember reaching for the mike and calling for help.”
Two suspects were apprehended after a high-speed chase, authorities say. Mexican national Ramon Armando Ramos, 38, pleaded guilty earlier this week to 14 counts of aggravated assault on a public servant with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 14 life terms. Francisco Saucedo faces the same charges in a trial scheduled next month.
During Ramos’ trial, Stone testified that, as he was being shot, he thought he was going to die.
Stone told CBS News the judge dealt properly with Ramos. Said Stone, “Considering the injuries I sustained and the total disregard for citizens, I think it’s fair.”