SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Police Officer Tim Martin posted a photo of himself on social media just days after being shot. The .380 caliber bullet struck his body armor vest, which ultimately saved his life.
“This is a .380-caliber. Looks small but it does a lot of damage,” said Rocklin Armory owner Terry Fong.
The 27-year veteran of the department wrote: “The round hit me about an inch and a half from the bottom of my vest.”
The impact left Martin with a large bruise, covering one whole side of his abdomen.
The drama unfolded during a shootout on Sept. 7 in South Sacramento between two veteran officers, including Martin, and a man suspected of killing his girlfriend and her daughter.
“I consider myself very lucky. There was another officer shot during this incident, he was hit on the leg where he had no protection. He faces a long recovery,” Martin wrote.
Fong says there is no doubt that the vest Martin wore that day saved his life.
“Not a bullet proof vest, bullet resistant. So the energy has to go somewhere. So when it hits the Kevlar, it spreads the circle. That’s why he had such a large bruise,” Fong said.
“So it did stop the bullet, but the energy’s got to go somewhere,” he said.
Fong showed FOX40 the type of bullet police say was used to shoot Martin and Martin’s fellow officer.
“So this round is a, the knock-down power is 170-foot pounds of energy, which is a good solid punch,” he said.
Although the bullet didn’t penetrate Martin’s body, it still left him injured.
A dime-sized scab is visible at the top of the giant bruise.
“Because if a piece of metal and they shoot it, there’s gonna be a dent. And the dent is what may have punctured his skin,” he said.