Police officer to be recognized for saving the life of gunshot victim

John Thompson • Updated Sep 11, 2019 at 10:41 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Elizabethton Police Officer Lance Peters will be recognized Thursday by the Elizabethton City Council for his efforts in saving the life of a man who suffered an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to his left upper leg.

Peters was off duty on the evening of June 23 and around 11 p.m. he was driving on Blue Springs Road, near the Citgo convenience station at the intersection of the Stoney Creek Highway and Blue Springs.

When he reached the intersection, Peters said he was flagged down. He said he saw a man lying on the ground, screaming for help.

Peters stopped and got out of his vehicle. He saw the man was suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. Peters previously had first aid training with the police department, and he immediately began to assist the man by applying pressure to the bleeding wound.

Peters took off the man’s belt and used it as a tourniquet to control bleeding, then called 911 and reported the shooting incident and requested further assistance.

In his recommendation for Peters to receive the award, Lt. Lincoln Orellana wrote “Patrolman Peters was able to utilize the skills he had learned through his training with the department to help control the bleeding and keep the victim as stable as possible until EMS arrived. Due to Patrolman Peters immediate action, he helped save the victim’s life … I would like Patrolman Peters to be recognized with the Life Saving Award for his commitment to his duties as a police officer, which he demonstrated by stopping, while off duty, and providing lifesaving first aid to the victim.

Peters actions also helped with an active investigation. A records check on the gunshot victim’s car revealed it was stolen out of Knoxville.

Investigators later questioned the gunshot victim. He told them he had gone to Hampton to pick up the vehicle for a woman. He said he had been warned there was a pistol under the driver’s seat. He was driving the vehicle back to the woman’s residence when he picked up the pistol and accidentally shot himself.