Officer's split-second decision not to shoot saves suspect's life

A Texas police officer saved a man’s life with his split-second decision not to shoot him.

After following the suspect on a chase that ended in a resident’s driveway in a neighborhood, the man got out of the truck with his hands in a gesture like he had a gun.

The officer yelled he was going to shoot, but in an instant he noticed the man did not actually have a gun -- he was holding a knife and a flashlight.

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“Honestly, I think I almost killed that guy,” veteran Grand Prairie police officer Jeff Payne told NBC DFW. “If it hadn’t been for that split second, I probably would have.”

Rather than fire his pistol, Payne unleashed his K-9 partner, Jurek.

The man was taken to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries, then taken to jail.

Payne was commended by his boss.

“I thought you did a great job,” police chief Steve Dye told Payne. “Your restraint, your level of training, and also saving his life.”

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