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Swartz Creek Officer honored for saving another officer’s life

Posted by: ignite Posted date: November 24, 2015

Swartz Creek Police Officer Nick Paul was chosen for the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Outstanding Service Award for bravery and dedication to his profession.

Officer Paul was presented with the award at the 2015 Annual POLC/GELC Meeting & Labor Seminar on Aug. 28, 2015 for his heroic efforts in saving the life of a fellow officer.

“It is my opinion no officer is more deserving of this award,” wrote POLC Labor Rep. Hal Telling in his nomination letter. “Nick Paul displayed courage under fire, professionalism and a sense of duty and responsibility to the public and his fellow officers.”

POLC Executive Director Richard Weiler (right) presented Swartz Creek Police Officer Nick Paul with the LEEP Outstanding Service Award for 2015 at the POLC/GELC Annual Meeting & Labor Seminar in August.

POLC Executive Director Richard Weiler (right) presented Swartz Creek Police Officer Nick Paul with the LEEP Outstanding Service Award for 2015 at the POLC/GELC Annual Meeting & Labor Seminar in August.

On Jan. 23, 2015, Flint Township Police Officer Michael Schulyer made a traffic stop around 10:30 p.m. on the 3200 block of Miller Road near the I-75 interchange. After the red van pulled into the Hometown Inn parking lot on Miller Road, Schulyer approached and the 55-year-old driver immediately exited the van and assaulted the officer. While struggling, Officer Schulyer radioed for assistance. The suspect pulled a .40 caliber pistol from his waistband and shot Schulyer three times, twice in the arm and once in the torso. Schulyer fled for cover while returning fire and radioed in that he had been shot.

Officer Paul heard the radio call and immediately drove to the scene removing his gun from his holster and placing it in his lap. He was the first backup officer on the scene, arriving within 30 seconds. Ignoring considerable danger to himself, Paul did not wait for additional units. He pulled into the parking lot and maneuvered his police vehicle behind the van. The van then backed up into the patrol vehicle and the suspect exited the vehicle, pistol in hand, and began firing at Officer Paul as he approached the patrol vehicle. Unable to exit his vehicle, Paul returned fire and a gun battle ensued within a distance of 15 feet.

“I had my gun in my right hand and had my window down,” Paul said, adding his seatbelt was off. “He was on me so fast, but I was ready for him.”

When the suspect retreated toward the van, Paul exited his vehicle and replaced his magazine. Not knowing the status of the suspect or Officer Schulyer, Paul proceeded forward without regard for his safety.

”I was thinking ‘I can’t let this guy get too far away.’ I knew there wasn’t anyone in position,” Paul said. He wanted to avoid having to track down an armed gunman who was running around town and could later ambush police. “I was thinking about perimeter. Initially, when I got out of the car I didn’t know I hit him.”

As Officer Schulyer continued to supply information via radio from the adjacent parking lot, Paul focused on making the arrest.

“I carry with me a tourniquet and a quick clot bandage,” Paul said. “He continued talking and putting out information when I was pulling in. I went from going to help him, knowing he was ok, to ‘now I got to go stop this guy before he gets out on the road.’”

When Paul came around the backside of the van, he observed the suspect laying in the fetal position near the front of the van. Paul secured the suspect’s weapon and was assisted by a second backup officer making his arrest.

A K-9 handler, Paul’s dog, Ike, was in the backseat during the shootout and luckily neither partner was shot. Investigation later revealed Officer Paul had struck the suspect six times. The suspect did survive. Paul’s patrol car was struck at least seven times, including the front door post on the driver’s side, windshield, and several bullets to the driver’s side spotlight and front of the car. The second backup officer’s vehicle also sustained bullet holes to the front of the vehicle, indicating as Paul moved forward the suspect continued firing.

The suspect was charged with numerous life felonies and awaits trial on the charges. There were warrants out for his arrest at the time of the shootout.

Officer Schuyler has a long road to recovery and has endured numerous surgeries but is alive because of Officer Paul’s heroic actions.