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Peoria officers recall fight to save dying deputy's life

Ryan Bakke Ryan Bakke
Pat Shearer Pat Shearer
Deputy Rubin Garcia, a 29-year veteran with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Rubin Garcia, a 29-year veteran with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -

The two officers who likely saved a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy's life are talking about those intense moments.

Peoria police officers Ryan Bakke and Pat Shearer were two of the first officers on the scene when MCSO Deputy Ruben Garcia was shot in the head in January.

Bakke arrived first.

"He was fighting pretty hard to stay conscious when I first got there," Bakke said. "He was conscious enough basically to say, 'Help me,' and then he went unconscious."

Within a minute, Shearer got to the scene.

"I just remember the amount of blood," Shearer said. "I remember holding on to his hand. I didn't want him to feel like he was alone."

The two officers split their focus. Shearer took on first aide duties with the help of a Glendale officer and a Jack in the Box worker.

"At one point he quit breathing," Shearer said. "And I knew he wasn't breathing at all because his mouth had filled up with blood."

While Shearer's team tended to Garcia, Bakke turned his attention to the scene.

"Our initial priority, obviously, is the suspect," Bakke said. "You have to assure everyone else's safety. There is somebody that's gravely injured but at the same time you have to be able to catch the bad guy."

Bakke had reason to be concerned. The suspect opened fire on other officers when they finally cornered him.

By now, Garcia had stopped breathing not once, but twice and Shearer's team did CPR both times.

"There was an exit wound on the left side of his head and an extremely large amount of blood came out with that first compression," Shearer said.

Officers from different departments, along with bystanders, all worked together like a well-oiled machine. The result - an almost unbelievable outcome. The suspect ended up dead with no one else getting hurt. And Garcia made it to the hospital still alive.

"I did not believe with the amount of blood I saw that night that anybody could have survived that," Shearer said.

"Had any one of those people not been in that place at that time maybe it could have worked out differently," Bakke said.

Shearer said probably four or five different people at different times had to tell him that Garcia was still alive, breathing and fighting. 

Shot multiple times - Garcia has defied the odds and MCSO said if all goes as planned, the deputy with nearly three decades in law enforcement will be released in a couple of weeks.

"That night I pretty much made a deal with myself that I was as soon as he stepped foot out of the hospital I'd be there to shake his hand and it sounds like that day is coming soon," Bakke said. 

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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