Last Sunday, Pima County Sheriff’s Sergeant Derek Tyra was supervising seven other deputies handling traffic control and basic event safety, protecting the runners during a race in Tucson named for Gabe Zimmerman, the Aide who was killed in the shooting involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on January 8, 2011.
During the race, Tyra received a call that a car driven by a suspect in a shooting was possibly heading toward the runners. As a car matching the description of the vehicle passed by, Tyra gave chase and decided to perform a “high risk stop” which meant he would have to place himself between the suspect and the runners.
Tyra managed to pull the vehicle over and safely apprehend the suspect.
“The man is a hero,” the race director said. “He says that it’s just what they’re supposed to do, but it’s pretty amazing that he was able to intervene with a live shooting suspect just steps from all these runners. He may have saved any number of lives with his actions today.”
“I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” Tyra said. “I didn’t think twice about it.”
As I read this amazing story, I immediately thought of Fort Smith Police Captain Danny Baker, who ran in uniform alongside of Marine Captain Maggie Seymour and local runners who were pushing three children with special needs in the Ainsley’s Angels in Arkansas’ inaugural event on Monday morning.
It was remarkable that Captain Baker was able to run the 3.5 miles on a hot, humid morning in uniform. However, it was more remarkable how he ran. Captain Baker ran placing himself between the runners and the vehicles that were passing by in the left lane on busy Highway 64. He ran with one eye on the runners and the children and one eye on the traffic, motioning the runners several times to keep to the right.
Captain Baker kept everyone safe, and he didn’t think twice about it.
Thank you Captain Baker and law enforcement officers everywhere who serve and protect our communities selflessly and sacrificially. You are not only heroically fulfilling your duties, but you are serving as role models for us all.
For this is part of our mission as the body of Christ in this world. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Love your neighbors as yourself [and remember] that love does no harm to your neighbor” (Romans 13:10). God calls us to selflessly and sacrificially place ourselves between our neighbors and anything that may harm them, and not think twice about it.
It’s just what we are supposed to do.