Doctors say Trooper Steven Stone is lucky to be alive. Wednesday night, the 29-year-old trooper was shot four to five times after making a routine traffic stop. Remarkably, he was able to crawl his way back to his car to call for help. Today Trooper Stone was released from the hospital and talked about the event, which he says happened so fast.
"I think every officer knows in the back of their mind it can happen, but just like everything else they say it won't happen to me," said Trooper Stone. This morning, Trooper Stone thanked his instructors at the DPS Academy for the training he received.
"In the academy they trained you and they instill it in you very strongly that just because you're shot doesn't mean that you give up or that you're dead," said Trooper Stone. "I knew I had to get to that car to get me some help, and if I could do that I would be all right."
Trooper Stone is also thankful for his bullet proof vest, for one bullet could have killed him when it struck his chest. "We are all issued a bullet proof vest and it's my policy that I don't ever put the uniform on without that vest on," said Trooper Stone.
Trooper Stone says he is anxious to get back to work, but knows it will take time to heal. "Right now I will admit I'm pretty sore," said Trooper Stone. "I'm feeling a whole lot better than I did two days ago. I can't go back to work until I can do so safely and perform my job as it's suppose to be performed and not endanger anybody else."
Trooper Stone says he's thankful he can go home knowing the two men who allegedly shot him are behind bars. "It's a huge relief," said Trooper Stone. "It's nice to know they are off the streets and they can't do this to someone else."
Trooper Stone did sustain some shoulder injuries from a bullet. Doctors say they are minor bone fractures and he will not need surgery. It's the bullet that went through his neck that worried doctors the most. "It kind of went underneath the vest and it went inside his upper chest and ran right underneath his pectoral muscle, left and actually entered his neck and exited his neck again," said Doctor Stephen Rowe, Trauma Surgeon at ETMC. "It missed his trachea by maybe half an inch, so when he says he thanks God, he's very very lucky." Doctors say it will be at least two months before Trooper Stone has full use of his arm.
Trooper Stone's colleagues never left his side the past three days. They took shifts staying at the hospital with him. His partner, Trooper Patrick Dark asked to be there and says the DPS department banned together during this difficult time.
"It's a great day especially three days after the incident happened," said Trooper Patrick Dark. "To see him walk out of the hospital on such a beautiful day says it all. He's a great person. He's a perfectionist when it comes to doing his job and when he doesn't do it the way he thinks he should, nobody is harder on him than himself."
Trooper Stone is recovering at his home in Whitehouse with his wife and two-year-old daughter.