"Always be ready;" Local officer recounts experience of getting shot in the neck on duty

This photo was taken of Captain Dennis Haley two days after he was shot in the neck while serving a search warrant, 21 years ago (Photo: Caren Pinto)

DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Dramatic video recorded by a pair of eyeglasses with a camera in them captured the moment a South Carolina officer was shot at least three times on New Year’s Day in 2016.

Officer Quincy Smith was responding to a suspicious person call when he spotted a man leaving a store who fit the description of the person described in the call, according to a news release.

Smith ended up tasing the suspect, who then shot him in the neck.

On Wednesday, the suspect was convicted of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The chilling video revealing what happened that day was released in court during the sentencing phase of the trial and has now gone viral on social media.

That video speaks to a local officer, who shares a similar experience.

Captain Dennis Haley was shot in the neck 21 years ago, on November 21, 1996.

"It stands out quite clearly actually," he said.

Haley was part of a tactical team serving a search warrant on a drug house.

"Shots were fired just as the doors were open and I was struck in the neck," explained Haley. "The best way to describe it is hot broken glass being poured through the wound."

After the pain, his thoughts went straight to his family.

"On the way, my first priority was to make sure I got to a phone to call my wife to make sure she knew I was OK," said Haley.

It's a moment his friend and fellow officer of nearly 30 years, Lt. Michael Wallace won't forget.

"It's difficult even today, I think the first thing I said was, I thought you were dead," said Wallace.

The scars are a reminder that everyday our community's first line of defense goes to work prepared for anything.

"It was painful, it was shocking at the time, but I think I had mentally prepared myself for what we were doing," Captain Haley said.

"You have to have your family in a position where you might get the phone call," added Lt. Wallace.

Shortly after Haley got shot, he was back at work, on that same street.

"[An elderly woman] said she looked out the door, and if I was working, it was safe for her to sit out on the porch, that's a powerful motivator," explained Haley.

"If you want to be a policeman, you have to have service at heart," said Wallace.

And that very service has created a life long bond between these men in blue.

"I don't have to worry about me, if he worries about me, and he don't have to worry about himself if I worry about him," said Wallace.

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