CBN.com “He pulled the gun and started pointing it at us as he was running. And that’s the moment my whole life changed.”
Jared dreamed of being a cop since he was a boy. After serving three years in the U.S. Army as a military policeman, he moved to Virginia Beach to pursue his long life dream. But the very thing that gave him purpose turned his life inside out.
“We heard a call that an off-duty Norfolk officer was chasing a suspect involved in a shooting in his own personal vehicle,” Jared says. “And they gave the location, and it was less than probably 100 yards from us. So all we had to do was drive right around the corner.”
"We pursued the suspect in their car until the suspect crashed into a church parking lot and fled on foot.
“He immediately ran across the street and jumped over a fence, and it was one of those six-foot picket fences. I don’t know how he got over it. I was ready to follow him, but my partner probably saved my life because he stopped me. He saw something that I didn’t, which was the guy ran into someone’s house, then turned around and was pretty much waiting for us to come over the fence behind him.”
As the two officers worked their way to the side of the townhouse, Jared noticed the suspect had a gun.
“The first thing that came to my mind was the kids,” Jared says. “I just remember feeling complete panic in the fact that he might be able to get one of the kids and hold them hostage. Everything just changed in a matter of seconds.”
Just imagine Jared running along a sidewalk in pursuit of a murder suspect. Children playing over to his right, his partner to his left, but his partner’s gun jams. And it’s just Jared and the murder suspect exchanging fire. Jared somehow falls on his back and is forced to shoot between his legs.
Jared says, “I pretty much accepted that I was going to die. My body had become so numb that I couldn’t tell if I’d been shot. I just knew that I had to stop him, and he was running along the wall while he was firing. I felt the presence of those children to the right, and I thought I just have to stop him before he gets over there.”
He was able to take the suspect down with three shots to the body. Jared hadn’t been hit.
“What seemed like him running a mile was probably about only ten feet, and then he fell. He rolled back on his back, and even after he emptied his weapon, he continued to point the weapon at me completely empty.”
He was dead. The two officers later found out that the suspect had shot several people, and they were both rewarded for their bravery. But despite all of his police training, Jared never imagined the effect that shooting another human would have on his life.
“Everyone kept asking me, ‘Are you okay? How are you dealing with it?’ I had a tough cop attitude: ‘Everything’s fine!’”
But everything wasn’t.
“I was just not functional. I wasn’t functional in my home. I wasn’t functional at work. I knew I needed help. I couldn’t go on anymore. I had been repressing it so long, my body was just shutting down.”
So Jared did what he feared most -- he gave up his badge and his dream.
“I just broke down emotionally ‘cause I knew I had just ended my career most likely. I knew my life was about to change. It was a very desperate time because all I ever wanted to be was a police officer.”
But his badge wasn’t the only thing he lost. Jared’s wife had enough. One night she left and never came back.
“I picked up the gun, and I fully intended on shooting myself. God spoke to me. He told me that He saved my life that day for a reason, and He had a reason for me to live,” Jared recalls. “My life changed that night. I knew that there was a better future for me.”
Jared didn’t exactly know how his future would change until he attended a Promise Keepers event.
“I remember singing as loud as I could, singing out to God and saying, ‘I need you, Jesus. I need you in my life.’ It was an amazing moment for me.”
That day Jared gave his life to the Lord, and he’s never been the same. He found a new career as a manager at an Internet company. But he’s received much more than that.
“I would say to anyone listening that it’s never too late to turn to God. What He’s been able to do in my life has been amazing. He means everything. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Him. He’s changed my life, changed my outlook on life. I’m just thankful for Him and His sacrifice.
“God’s working miracles in my life everyday, and I’m just amazed at His work. No matter how bad things are for people, if they turn to God, things will get better.”
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