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Cleveland Police Officer and Baldwin Wallace pre-med student saves man's life

Officer Sanderson studies by day, patrols by night
Posted at 6:25 PM, Aug 25, 2017

Cleveland Police Officer John Sanderson leads a bit of a double-life.

Third-shift patrol officer by night — Baldwin Wallace University student by day.

Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, training from all aspects of his life combined, helping him to save a man’s life.

Incredible video caught by New 5 overnight photographer Mike Vielhaber shows the moments after Officer Sanderson arrived on scene of a shooting at 32nd and Perkins Avenue in Cleveland. A truck driver ending his shift had been shot during an armed robbery.

RELATED: Cleveland police officer used tourniquet on a shooting victim with gunshot wound to the leg

Sanderson grabbed his police-issued trauma kit as soon as he noticed the victim laying on the ground, bleeding.

He used trauma shears to cut off the victim's pants and found a bullet had entered through the left leg, passed through and embedded itself in the right leg.

“When I found it, it started spurting blood, which is indicative of an arterial bleed,” Sanderson explained. “It can be a life and death situation within seconds.”

Sanderson instinctively knew he didn’t have time to wait for medics to arrive, so he used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, likely saving the man’s life.

“I was just doing what I was trained to do,” Sanderson said. EMS arrived minutes later.

The victim is still recovering in the hospital, hoping to be released in the next several days. He asked for his identity not to be revealed for privacy reasons. But he wanted to say thank you to Officer Sanderson, so News 5 arranged a phone call.

“What you did was amazing, amazing,” the victim said over the phone. “I really, really do appreciate what you did for me. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.”

If student-by-day and officer-by-night isn’t enough, Sanderson also spent two years in the Navy, several years as an EMT, and seven years as a firefighter before he became a police officer.

He’s now double-majoring in biology and chemistry and double-minoring in orthopedic treatment and mathematics at BWU.

The 36-year-old plans to continue on to medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon — and plans to never stop helping people.