Olive Branch police continue search for shooting suspect - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Olive Branch police continue search for shooting suspect

Action News Five's Jason Miles looked at the car driven by the suspect who shot two Olive Branch police officers Thursday.  It was easy to see where the officers fired back.  One bullet sliced right through steel.  Two bullets tore through Officer Mark Ayers' chest.  He was not wearing a bullet-proof vest.

"Every officer has a vest," says Major Don Gammage with the Olive Branch PD.  "It is available to them," he adds.

Major says that part of the policy is undisputable.  He showed us a handbook that lists "body armour" as one of the items every officer gets.

"Things you need to do your job," says Gammage.  "We issue all equipment here at Olive Branch Police Department, including a vest," he adds.

Gammage says officers are encouraged to wear a vest, but are currently not required to do so.

"Why someone won't wear it?  That's a personal decision on their part and I can't answer that," says Gammage.

Who's to say that officer Ayers knew the threat when he approached that car?  Who's to say a bullet-proof vest would have prevented his injuries?  But police say it's better to be safe than sorry.

"If they're on patrol--I encourage them to wear their vests," says Gammage.

Officer Ayers was training Officer Doug Stanek when they were both shot.  Stanek was wearing a vest.

"It has shown that vests do save lives and prevent injuries," says Gammage.

He says other cops may take a lesson from what happened in Olive Branch.

At last check, Officer Ayers was still listed in critical condition at The MED.

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