Troopers disregard risk of gunman to save shooting victim in Mansfield

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Two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are still processing how an OVI traffic stop escalated into a life-or-death situation in just a few seconds.

On Sunday, April 7, just before 1:15 a.m., Troopers Preston Brooks and David Passet stopped a vehicle on suspicion of OVI. A cruiser dash cam was rolling as Passet approached the driver and explained why troopers pulled her over.

"How much have you had to drink tonight?" Passet said.

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Moments after the female driver exits her vehicle and walks toward the cruiser, three distinct gunshots rang out.

The driver began screaming "Oh my God," as the trooper radioed dispatchers, "shots fired."

Investigators say the gunshots came from outside the Patio Bar and Grill in Mansfield. The cruiser cam captured people running for their lives as troopers took cover.

"When the shots went off, I could see the muzzle flash," Passet said. "It was so loud and so close, I thought we were getting shot at ."

Troopers said their first thought was to locate the gunman.

"The first worry is where is the shooter? Is he going to come back or is he still there? Who else is going to get shot?" Passet said.

The cruiser dash cam was rolling as the troopers ran across four lanes of road, shouting, "Where's the shooter? Where's the shooter?"

Passet said a security officer alerted law enforcement someone was shot. Troopers discovered the victim lying face down in a pool of blood suffering a gunshot wound to the head.

"He wasn't breathing," Passet said. "I thought he was dead."

The cruiser camera captured the belabored breathing of Passet and Trooper Preston Brooks as they took turns giving the victims chest compressions, even as they tried to manage the panicked crowd.

"Get out of here," one of the troopers yelled to the crowd. "There's a shooter out here. Go."

Trooper Passet said the risk paid off.

"At some point during, I think, my second set of compressions, he started coughing," said Trooper Passet.

Troopers kept 21-year old Tyron Gray alive until medics rushed him to the hospital where he survived surgery. The Mansfield Police Department is investigating the shooting and said the victim is still listed in critical condition.

Both troopers said they're humbled knowing they responded instinctively, without hesitation, regardless of the danger.

"Without any communication," Brooks said. "You don't hear us on the video talking to each other. I don't know if we ever made eye contact
and that goes back to our training and our preparation at the academy."

"Running towards gunfire is one of the hardest things you can do, especially when there's that many people and you don't know where the gunfire is coming from and you don't know if the gunman is still there," Passet said.

"It's very humbling to know that we didn't hesitate," Brooks said. "We knew what we had to do and we helped that guy. He's alive. It's humbling to know that we jumped into that situation."

If you can help police identify the gunman, call the Mansfield Police Department at (419) 522-1234.