Photographer Lynn Mays told the Huffington Post in a Friday, July 8, interview that a policeman saved his life during the city’s Thursday night shooting that left five policemen dead, as well as seven officers and two civilians wounded.
Mays, 46, was attending a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest when the attack occurred. Protestors were marching over the deaths of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, resident Alton Sterling and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, resident Philando Castile. Both men were shot and killed by policemen this week.
As previously reported, snipers opened fire during the demonstration in downtown Dallas on Thursday night. According to The Los Angeles Times, one suspect — who was killed by a robot bomb during a standoff with police — has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, who told authorities that he “wanted to kill white officers.”
Mays, who was taking “antique-style” photos at the protest to emulate images of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, recounted the terror in Texas and revealed how an unidentified cop kept him out of harm’s way.
“It was the most terrifying feeling I have ever had in my life. Ever. I’m almost 50 years old, and I’ve been through a lot,” he explained to the Huffington Post. “But never have I had bullets fly past my head so close you could hear it zipping past your ear.”
“I turned to run, and a police officer pushed me out of the way and said, ‘Get out the way, get out the way, take cover.’” The next thing Mays heard was the same officer yelling “Officer down!” after a colleague was shot.
“So I started screaming, ‘Officer down, officer down!’ and it led to other officers on the other side of the wall trying to see where the gunfire was,” Mays continued. “They went around the corner to their comrade, and that was when multiple gunshots rang out between the police officer and the shooter.”
While in hiding, Mays — who has a 19-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter — said that he began to worry about his family. “I’m thinking about my little one. What’s gonna happen if I get shot? I was just thinking, any minute I’m gonna feel it,” he shared. “Any minute I’m gonna feel it. I’m gonna be hit at any minute.”
Despite his brush with danger, Mays was never hit with a bullet, and he feels eternally grateful to the mysterious cop who stepped in to help.
“If I can find out who that police officer is, I would tell him thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I wish I also knew the officer that got shot, because if it hadn’t been for the other police officer, it could have been all of us. It could have been me lying right beside that man.”