Injured Vancouver officer called 'epitome of valor, dedication'
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The Vancouver police sergeant who supervises the officer shot on Monday told KATU a bulletproof vest saved his life.
Sgt. Patrick Johns was the first to meet with Dustin Goudschaal and his family after the shooting.
When he heard the call over the radio Monday, Johns rushed to the scene on his bike.
"There were a few officers already there checking backyards. That's where they discovered one of the suspects," he said.
Only three Vancouver officers ride motorcycles.
Johns was anxious to meet up with Goudschaal at the hospital.
"Once he was stable, and was able to get past a lot of that, the next day he was cracking a few jokes and you know, making very light of it. I'm not sure half of us would be as jovial as he was trying to be," Johns said.
"She's doing really well," Johns said of Goudschaal's wife. "Remarkably well for what's occurred. Obviously wrung out emotionally from getting that phone call that I'm sure a lot of spouses in law enforcement dread getting."
Johns talked about the special training he and Officer Goudschaal had to go through. Officers doing their jobs from a motorcycle instead of a patrol car can be dangerous, he says.
"Once you make a traffic stop, and you're away from the motorcycle, by a step or two, it's pretty much you and the person there in the vehicle," he said. "That vest was a major factor in his survival."
Johns says to move forward, officers can only look at what happened and see if there's something to learn, including more training for the next time.
"That's what really gets you through, the mindset that I'm going to go home at the end of this shift," he said.