Early Sunday morning, a bulletproof vest saved the life of a Jones County Deputy after he was shot during a traffic stop. Deputy John Kile suffered a shot to the chest, but luckily, he survived without any injuries thanks to his body armor.
Traffic stop incident
The Deputy stopped the suspect, 24-year-old Zachary Lucas Olivar, on Highway 11. The Jones County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page released footage of the in-car and body worn camera. In the video, the suspect refuses to get out of the vehicle. Following this, he shoots the Deputy with a gun wrapped in a rag.
After this confrontation, Olivar sped away in his car. Despite getting shot, Deputy Kile pursued him and apprehended him after a short chase. He did this with the help of Officer Terius Farley and Deputies William Jackson and Jeff Sullivan.
Saved by body armor
Although he was shot in the chest, Deputy Kile got back in his car and carried out his duty until the suspect was in custody. Following the arrest, Deputy Kile was transported to the Medical Center where he was treated and released thankfully. He is currently at home recovering and will be back at work soon.
“Everytime I watch it, it’s just like wow, you know if he wasn’t wearing that vest, he wouldn’t be here with us. Even though you know he’s okay, it’s tough to watch,” said Captain Travis Dougles.
Jones County Sherrif R.N. “Butch” Reece shared an account of the incident on the Facebook page. “On a personal note to the families of any law enforcement officers,” he wrote, “please make sure your loved one wears their bullet proof vest. It can make all the difference in the world, it certainly did today.”
Need for change
As part of the investigation, police discovered that the suspect, Olivar, has a history of mental illness. This included reports that he has been having issues for the past week, with several attempts made by his family to get him help.
“Unfortunately we hear about situations like this on a regular basis,” Sheriff Reece wrote. “Families are struggling to get help for loved ones with mental health issues; however, it seems all too often that these individuals fall through the cracks.”
“Unfortunately, it sometimes takes an incident like this one to show how important accessibility to mental health care really is. Our jails are not designed to be mental health treatment facilities,” the Sheriff added, “Our hope is that this incident brings about a much needed change in the mental health system.”