LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Three LMPD officers sprang into action to save lives in a deadly police chase Monday night. It was a pursuit that, until then, they were not a part of.
Officers Kyle Willis and Javar Downs, plus a third officer, unknowingly got caught up in the middle of the violent end to the Shively police chase. They drove up to the intersection of Dixie Highway and Crums Lane as a stolen pickup truck ran a red light, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit two other cars.
“It’s not just being a police officer, it’s being a human at that point,” Willis said.
Willis, who is himself a father, and Downs, an uncle, saw a 9-month-old baby girl critically hurt and trapped in the car. They knew they needed to act immediately.
“We’re not only police officers,” Willis said, “we’re dads, or cousins, or brothers, and we have hearts. You know, we, we break down just like everybody else.”
The three officers had to cut the baby out of the car and car seat, rushing her to an ambulance and blocking off roads to reach the hospital.
"If we just saved that one child's life, that'd be the huge difference that would mean everything," Willis said.
"That keeps us going. It gives us energy," Downs said.
Energy to put on their uniforms day after day and do the best they can, no matter what's going on in their city.
“We’re Black men, we’re Black police officers, we understand what the community is feeling,” Downs said. “But, I really want them to know that we’re here. We’ll continue our commitment to service and doing our jobs, professionally and continuing to save lives, and making a difference.”
Willis and Downs also want to make sure LMPD Officer Wagner, who was off Wednesday for his birthday, gets recognition for helping, too.
One of the drivers in the crash, 21-year-old Stephaun Dotson, was killed. His passenger, 44-year-old AnnJanette Senter, later died at the hospital after being ejected from the car.
Shively police are looking for another suspect in the crash, as well as a woman who might have been involved in a domestic incident that led to the pursuit.