Claudia Apolinar is a real life superhero. The 31-year-old Los Angeles County deputy was shot in the face and shot in the upper torso several times and still managed to save the life of her partner using a tourniquet before medics arrived, the New York Post reported.
The heroic officer and her 24-year-old partner were both shot at close range by an unknown gunman while sitting in their patrol car on Saturday. The chilling encounter was caught on video and police are still trying to locate the assailant, the newspaper reported.
Apolinar, who was struck in the jaw and her partner, who was badly injured but has not yet been identified, are expected to survive. Both officers are in stable condition at a Los Angeles County hospital.
The rookie cop is also the mother of a 6-year-old and has been recovering as her 65-year-old father, Adolfo, has stood by his daughter’s side.
“I’m here with her right now,” he told the Daily Mail in Spanish during an interview. He confirmed that his daughter was in stable condition and he shared that he held a bedside vigil for her in hospital as a deputy stood guard outside the room.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villaneuva called it “a double miracle,” as he told the news outlet.
It was just one year ago that Apolinar, a former librarian, graduated from the police academy.
Lt. Brandon Dean, the lead investigating officer, told the Daily Mail, how unbelievably courageous and quick-thinking, the young deputy was.
“It’s an extreme situation. She was shot in the face, shot in the upper torso several times,” Dean said. “To have the wherewithal to get yourself out of the vehicle and the line of fire in case it continues, but then to take care of your partner, initiate radio traffic make sure the civilians in the area are safe, it shows a lot about her courage and intestinal fortitude.”
The suspect is still at large, with the LA Sheriff’s Department offering $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.