Four St. Paul police officers honored with award for saving life of woman shot in the neck

Despite the chaos of the crowd and the victim's blood "pouring onto the pavement," the four officers remained "collected and calm" throughout the entire ordeal.

Officers Keng Her, Sean Higgins, Nathan Kinn, and Dao Vang each received the Life Saving Award this week. (St. Paul Police Department)

Four officers from the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) were honored Thursday afternoon for saving the life of a woman they found shot in the neck and bleeding badly.

A recounting of the incident appeared on the SPPD’s Facebook page, as well as a group picture of the officers with their Life Saving Awards. The ceremony took place at the police department headquarters on Grove Street, with Deputy Chief of Police Jeremy Ellison presenting the officers with their awards.

The honored officers were Keng Her, Sean Higgins, Nathan Kinn, and Dao Vang. All four work in the SPPD’s Eastern District and have a combined 21 years’ experience on the force.

The incident took place last May, on a Tuesday evening. The four officers responded to a 6 p.m. 911 call after a woman had been shot in the neck while sitting in her Chevrolet Impala outside an East Side apartment building.

“She was semi-conscious and losing a lot of blood,” says the SPPD’s retelling. “She had a bullet hole in her neck and was bleeding. A crowd gathered. It was chaotic, with people running around, screaming and panicking, trying to reach the woman.”

Despite the chaos of the crowd and the victim’s blood “pouring onto the pavement,” the four officers remained “collected and calm” throughout the entire ordeal. Some looked for the gun while others wrapped her wounds and applied pressure to stop the bleeding. Officers reassured her she’d be alright after she cried out that she was going to die.

And they were right. An ambulance came by and delivered her to Regions Hospital in downtown St. Paul, where she underwent immediate emergency surgery and survived.

“We’re incredibly grateful for and proud of their actions that day (as well as those of our partners at Ramsey County, Saint Paul Fire and Regions Hospital),” the St. Paul Police Department said. “But most importantly, we’re incredibly thankful the victim survived.”


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.