Local officer honored as survivor by company making life-saving vests
LAS VEGAS -- A Greencastle City Police officer -- one of seven “survivors” who owe their lives to the ballistic vests they wear on duty -- was honored at the just-concluded 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
Officer Luke Brown, who joined the Greencastle Department in July 2017, was a member of the Cloverdale Police Department when he was shot in the chest from point-blank range in making a Dec. 10, 2016 arrest.
Brown was pursuing suspect Jeffrey Hunter, 49, Cloverdale, who had allegedly stolen a chainsaw from the Tractor Supply store in Greencastle, when the fleeing Hunter ran into his Cloverdale home.
As another officer was attempting to taser Hunter, the suspect grabbed a double-barreled shotgun propped in the doorway nearby.
Brown was within a foot of the barrel when the suspect fired at the officer’s chest. They exchanged gunfire and Hunter was finally subdued. Although wounded, Brown rendered first aid to his alleged assailant until Operation Life paramedics arrived.
The original Banner Graphic story made note that Brown escaped serious injury and possibly even death because of the ballistic vest he was wearing. He was taken to a Terre Haute hospital but was released that night.
At the time, Brown was wearing a Point Blank Alpha Elite ballistic vest reinforced with incredibly strong panels.
What makes these panels able to withstand point-blank shotgun fire? Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology by DSM is the reason, company officials stressed during the presentation at the SHOT Show in the Sands Expo Center at Las Vegas.
Officials from Point Blank, based in Pompano Beach, Fla., said they were “thrilled to host Brown and his wife at the 2018 SHOT Show, along with six other courageous survivors and their family members.”
“They know they owe their lives to the strength of their ballistic vests,” a spokesman said.
Survivors were awarded a ballistic panel plaque embedded with a round of the same caliber with which they were struck.
Brown also has his wife Amanda to thank for his survival. Her advice to Brown was, “Don’t wear just any vest, wear one that’s strong enough to actually save your life.”
She should know. She is a reserve officer for the Greencastle Police Department and also works as a police dispatcher.
In the last four years more than a quarter-million such vests were purchased by law enforcement agencies across the country, including the United States Department of Defense, other federal agencies and local police departments like NYPD. Officers in all 50 states are depending on the vest to save their lives, just like it saved Brown’s.
DSM Dyneema’s Global Business Director of Life Protection, Marcio Manique, and Point Blank Vice President of Government and International Sales, Michael Foreman, acted as presenters of the survivor awards.
The SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show is an annual trade show for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry, open only to those in the trade and the press. The show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. In the last few years it has taken place mainly in Las Vegas, attracting more than 60,000 attendees to its 630,000 square feet of exhibition space in 2017.