SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Ask any police officer — there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.
“I’ve made thousands of traffic stops,” said Corporal Christian Hicks, who just celebrated 17 years with the Shreveport police department earlier this month.
“They say police work is 99 percent boredom and one percent terror,” he adds, explaining patrolling the streets isn’t a thrill-a-minute movie script playing out in real life.
But last month on a rainy, sleet-filled morning, that one percent ran a stop sign at the Interstate 49 off-ramp at Hollywood Avenue.
“It was terror. Definitely terror,” Hicks said.
The driver, David Wayne Jefferson Jr, quickly darted into a nearby gas station parking lot, led Hicks on a short chase around the gas pumps, then suddenly came to an abrupt halt.
“He goes to back up into my driver’s door, and I was like, ‘Woah’.”
Jefferson quickly exits the car, and puts his hands up, but begins walking toward Hicks.
“Just due to my past, I feel he’s got something, hiding something, concealing something. I need to make sure I’m safe,” Hicks said.
“I’m all by myself.”
Hicks attempts to restrain Jefferson until he can figure out why Jefferson is behaving the way he was.
But according to Hicks, Jefferson quickly began to struggle, fighting back, and attempting to grab something out of one of his pockets.
“He spins on me and brings his right hand up to his jacket. When I went to grab him, I felt iron,” shares Hicks, grabbing his own chest to show where he felt Jefferson was hiding a gun.
“I knew he had a gun.”
During the struggle, Hicks says his police radio and handcuffs were knocked out of his hands, so he had no way to call for help, or put Jefferson into custody.
The struggle by the gas pumps continued for several minutes.
Soon after, a good Samaritan walked over, never taking his hands out of his pocket.
But he said one thing that brought it all to an end.
“He said, ‘If you need help, I’m here’,” Hicks recalls.
“The suspect looked up", continues Hicks, “and you could feel him loosening up".
Hicks was able to quickly put Jefferson in handcuffs.
“Sure enough, I recovered a loaded 9 millimeter handgun in his top jacket pocket”.
Hicks says this unnamed gas station customer didn’t have to put his hands on the suspect, but it was enough to stop a possible officer-involved shooting.
“That means the world to me. I would say he’s a hero.”