“You’re never really off duty as a police officer,” said Jason White, a deputy with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
White experienced a stark and scary reminder of that way of life.
It happened while he was serving as a chaperone for his daughter’s eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C. from Swartz Creek Middle School.
“We kind of always get trained to expect anything,” said White.
That training put him in full police mode as violence erupted right before their eyes in the heart of downtown Washington D.C.
“We were going to a museum, and the kids and I got off the bus and we were waiting to cross the street and that’s when he heard the first shot,” said White.
A man shot and killed another man right in front of them and then ran off.
“I went towards the shooter,” said White. “I could see the victim laying on the ground and I just called 911 and started giving them info as to direction the suspect was going with a clothing description, height and weight.”
Meanwhile, the students got to safety.
The suspect ran several blocks pursued by police exchanging gunfire and got hit in the hand but had enough adrenaline to continue running.
The suspect made it another block before he was taken into custody.
Washington D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham was surprised by the boldness of the crime.
“For someone to do that at five in the afternoon in this part of town is pretty brazen,” said Newsham.
White told us he is proud of the students who remained calm as the ordeal unfolded.
“The kids did everything they were supposed to do,” said White.
White said they’re returning from the field trip on Sunday and that the school will have counselors on hand if any of the kids need in them.