Kentucky police officer's badge stops bullet, saves life

Louisville, Ky. -- A Louisville Metro Police officer is recovering after being shot responding to a home invasion -- and he can thank both his protective vest and his police badge for helping save him, Fox WDRB reports.

It happened just after 1 a.m. Friday near the intersection of Taylor Boulevard and Central Avenue near Churchill Downs.

Officer Lamont Washington responded within minutes to a home invasion on Montana Avenue. When he arrived, he confronted three suspects and began chasing them. One suspect fired two shots. Both shots hit Washington — one in the chest and one in the hand.

The police badge Officer Washington was wearing actually deflected one of the bullets. That, combined with the fact that he was wearing a protective vest, kept his injuries from being much worse.

Police say Officer Washington did not return fire.

He is recovering at University Hospital, where fellow officers have stopped in the hours since the shooting to offer support. Robison says Washington has one year on patrol.

Another officer was also injured in the hand while jumping a fence to chase the suspects.

LMPD arrested two men and one juvenile and charged them with attempted murder of a police officer and robbery. 19-year-old Dominique Gosnell and 18-year-old Donald Jackson were taken to Metro Corrections and a 17-year-old male went to the Jefferson County Youth Detention Center.

Police have not said which suspect may have fired the shots.
Robison says he spoke to Officer Washington and says he was alert and "thankful he was not injured more seriously."

LMPD does not require officers to wear vests, but Robison says most officers are trained to wear them through recruit school, "so they become accustomed to them, then they normally wear it when they are on the street."

Click here for more on this story from Fox WDRB.