Officer Recalls Night She Saved Partner's Life

Police: Partner Run Over By Suspect

An Indianapolis police officer said her heart stopped the night she had to shoot a suspect to save her partner's life.

Officer Christin Rudell has been named the officer of the month for April by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund for her actions the night of Jan. 30, 2011.

Rudell and her South District beat partner, Officer Deanna Pulley, were called to investigate a report of an unruly woman at an Indianapolis bar.

"The night that it happened, it was a pretty basic call. It was unruly person, disorderly at a bar. We get that pretty typically on late shift," Rudell told RTV6's Ebone Monet. "She decided to get more out of control. We tried to get her out of her vehicle, and she didn't want to do what we asked her to do."

That's when the woman threw the car into reverse and hit the gas, driving backward over Pulley, police said.

"The first time my partner was struck, I knew that this was going to be really serious and it was going to go downhill quickly," Rudell said.

She tried to smash the driver's side window to gain control of the vehicle, but the woman ran over Pulley again, police said.

"I had to take action and shoot at her to get her to stop. Luckily for both of us, she veered off after she'd been injured, and we caught her just down the street," Rudell said.

After Rudell radioed dispatch a description of the suspect and her vehicle, she turned her attention to Pulley, administering first aid until emergency crews arrived.

"It was very difficult. She's been a good friend of mine for as long as I've been down here on South District, so about four years, and it kind of makes your heart stop," Rudell said. "You worry for that person, but you have to keep your mind on the task and take care of things so things don't get worse."

Pulley spent eight days in intensive care and underwent multiple surgeries. She made a full recovery and returned to active duty within 10 months.

"Most of the attention we try to keep on the injured officer. She's the one that had to go through the struggle, so that's where my focus laid the entire time," Rudell said.

In her six years with the department, the incident marked the first time Rudell had to fire her weapon in the line of duty.

"It absolutely is one of the biggest arrests that's ever come from a run of mine, mostly due to the injuries of my beat partner," Rudell said. "That's what's going to stick with me more than anything."

Rudell, who was awarded the department's Medal of Valor for her actions, said she was surprised by the national recognition, but credited her police family's support for keeping her humble.

"I've gotten a little bit of razzing here and there, but that's good. I like it. It keeps me in check, too," she said, laughing. "It's a very humbling experience. I work with a lot of really phenomenal officers, so it means a lot to me."

Rudell and other officers from across the country will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., in May 2013 during National Police Week.

The in the case suspect was hit multiple times but survived. She recent pleaded guilty to charges and is expected to be sentenced to jail time.

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