Thanks to this officer’s quick thinking, Zoey Keating can grow up and live a happy life. Bravo to this brave officer.
An Oklahoma detective who saved a little girl in a Walmart grocery store after a man snatched her and held her at knifepoint relived the moment in an emotional interview.
Three years ago police Maj David Huff, 50, was faced with one of the hardest decisions he’s ever had to make throughout his 26-year career, when a 911 call led him to a 30-minute hostage situation.
It was just after 3pm on June 17, 2013, when Huff and Detective Darrell Miller, both trained hostage negotiators, came face-to-face with Sammie Wallace, who was holding a knife to two-year-old Zoey Keating’s stomach.
During an emotional interview with CNN, Huff talked about the decision to shoot Wallace in order to to save Zoey’s life.
With tears in his eyes, Huff told CNN: ‘Taking someone else’s life. Cop for 26 years, and I never fired a shot at another human being. Ever.’
Huff explained that once he and Miller walked into Walmart, they suspected that Wallace was mentally ill because he was highly agitated.
‘We wanted to keep him calm,’ Huff said. ‘He was in this manic state where he was basically blurting out statements.’
Surveillance footage showed Wallace wandering the store, pushing an empty grocery cart, before he grabbed Zoey out of her mother’s cart.
Wallace held the terrified child at knifepoint in front of her mother and stunned shoppers.
Alicia Keating, Zoey’s mother, told CNN that she started screaming: ‘Somebody help. This man has my baby.’
The store was cleared of shoppers, including Zoey’s mother who was taken outside.
Huff said he and Miller tried various techniques to get Wallace to calm down and release Zoey.
Miller described him as getting more and more ‘amped up’ as the conversation deteriorated.
‘When he started to speak, and he started making statements about the cameras are all watching us, it’s the Illuminati. And George Bush is watching us. And he made reference to the CIA and that type of thing,’ Huff told CNN.
Huff said they got the feeling Wallace was ‘probably somebody who was mentally ill’ because those types of statements ‘usually come from someone who has paranoid schizophrenia’.
At one point Wallace threatened to kill Zoey after his demand for a Dallas police officer, whom he went to school with, wasn’t met.
Wallace started a 60-second countdown, moving the knife closer to her throat.