DPS officer shot during traffic stop tells story of survival - New York News

DPS officer shot during traffic stop tells story of survival

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -

He was shot three times during a traffic stop, but Department of Public Safety Officer Seth Meeske survived.  Now he's talking for the first time about what he went through on that day.

Back on Sept. 22, a high speed pursuit from the Phoenix metro area continued along State Route 87 just south of Payson. 

Meeske was shot after pulling over Cody Archuleta.  According to authorities, after several law enforcement agencies pursued Archuleta,  he eventually drove into a ditch and apparently shot himself in the head.

The officer told us today the shooter never even said a word.

Considering what he's been through, Officer Seth Meeske is doing ok.

"The moment I tapped on the window there were gunshots," he said. Meeske was shot 3 times -- in the forearm, thigh, and back.

"I knew that I had been hit, I felt no pain at the time."

Knowing how long it would take for an ambulance to get him, the officer decided to drive himself to the hospital, at times using only his knee. The drive to Payson Regional Medical Center was about 3 miles from the site of the shooting.

"It was a surreal drive to the hospital."

By the time he got there, his uniform and patrol car were covered in blood. From Payson, he was flown to a valley hospital. Thankfully he was wearing his bulletproof vest.

"The vest functioned properly, it stopped that bullet. There is no doubt in my mind that that bullet would have been fatal."

The officer's father, a retired DPS officer, rushed to the hospital with the rest of the family.

"The minute we made eye contact and I looked into his eyes I just had that feeling like he was going to be ok," says Ernie Meeske.

While Officer Meeske was in the hospital, Officer Robert Derango chased the shooter for nearly 40 miles. The 25-year-old had just finished training. It was his first night on the street alone and he learned a valuable lesson.

"You don't know who that person is in the car. And you have no idea what they are capable of. You have no idea what their mind set is. Routine and normal just aren't in the vocabulary for law enforcement," says Derango.

Why Archuleta fired on that officer is unclear. The investigation still isn't complete.

Meeske is expected to make a full recovery.

Follow this story:

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Fire officials say several small brush fires were ignited by a train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey.
    A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.
  • Cops: 73-year-old man shoots neighbor in dispute

    Cops: 73-year-old man shoots neighbor in dispute

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:37 AM EDT2014-04-21 11:37:28 GMT
    A 73-year-old Connecticut man will be appearing before a state judge after being charged with shooting his neighbor three times during an argument on Easter morning.
    A 73-year-old Connecticut man will be appearing before a state judge after being charged with shooting his neighbor three times during an argument on Easter morning.
  • Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

    Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-04-21 10:43:41 GMT
    "Just Do It" has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but now parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York's Common Core standardized English tests.
    "Just Do It" has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but now parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York's Common Core standardized English tests.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices