PAYSON, AZ - A Department of Public Safety officer is sharing his story about what happened when he was shot multiple times during a traffic stop.
Inside Payson's Town Hall, Officer Seth Meeske shared his scariest moments, after he was shot by a suspect and left for dead on the side of the road.
"I tapped on the window and he immediately started firing shots through the passenger window," Meeske described of the traffic stop.
Then glass flew into his eyes and more shots were fired.
"I knew I had been hit. I thought maybe I had gotten shot in the face. I thought my teeth were shattered but I later learned that was glass," said Meeske.
The DPS veteran headed back to his patrol car to get cover and radio for back up.
Meeske then realized the extent of his injuries.
"I didn't think I would make it if I waited there any longer. I would have bled out," he said.
Driving with an injured knee and arm, Meeske took himself to the hospital.
During that time rookie Officer Robert Durango, who just started his first shift, spotted the suspect's car.
"The pursuit went for 40 minutes," said Durango.
Police say the suspect crashed and then turned the gun on himself.
Back at the hospital, Meeske was flown down to Phoenix for emergency surgery, and it wasn't until then that he learned his fellow officers were safe.
Though he is expected to make a full recovery, the experience was traumatic for Meese as well as his family.
Over 20 years patrolling the streets, seeing his son shot was the hardest thing Earnie Meeske has dealt with as a law enforcement officer.
"My son lying there..." he imagines of the incident. "But the minute I looked into his eyes I knew he was okay."
It's not just the father-son bond but also the brotherhood shared through being a police officer, that makes Earnie so proud.
"His love for people, his brotherhood I just couldn't be prouder."
Seth says he plans to return to work when he's healthy and ready.
An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.
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