Reserve officer stays humble after helping save life of sailor shot outside DC bar

- A sailor with the United States Navy continues to recover after being shot in the chest two weeks ago outside of a Dupont Circle bar.

D.C. police said it was one of their reserve officers who was the first emergency responder to come to Zane Kentner’s aid after the gunfire.

Reserve officers must meet the same standards as career officers and get the same recruit training, but work on a volunteer basis. Officer Scooter Slade, who helped Kentner that night, said he has been volunteering his time to help patrol Washington D.C. for the past five years.

“Any job can be dangerous, but this one is very rewarding at times too,” Slade said. “To help people in their time of crisis.”

Slade said he was just finishing his shift at about 3 a.m. on Sept. 10 when the shooting call came in. Cell phone video captured by a witness shows police rushing after the suspect in patrol cars and on foot.

Slade, who is also an emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter in Alexandria, Virginia, went to help Kentner.

“Given my background in emergency medicine, (the sergeant) asked me to go over and check on him, so I did, and did what we needed to do,” he said. “What I did was what any officer in that situation with that kind of training and that equipment would have done.”

While he is modest about what happened, a supervisor said Slade’s actions made all the difference that night.

“He saved that man’s life,” said Sgt. Raul Mendez.

Mendez works with the reserve officers in the department, and said what Slade did is just one example of the commitment by reserve officers to make the city safer. There are currently about 80 men and women in the reserve corps.

“The minimum hours for reserve officers is 24 hours a month, but they give way more than that,” Mendez said. “They give a lot of hours. A lot of them, believe it or not, are attorneys. A lot of them are CEOs of their own companies. A lot of them work for the government and so forth. And we have a few that are in the military as well.”

Slade works full-time in addition to his volunteer work in both D.C. and Alexandria, yet he still visited Kentner at the hospital the day after the shooting.

“His father did reach out to thank me and it was very humbling,” Slade said.

Friends said Kentner is now awake and talking.

On the night he was shot, he had gathered with friends for a deployment going-away party. Witnesses said he was shot after trying to intervene when the gunman started assaulting people. The alleged shooter was arrested a short time later.

“It was a team effort and I’m just thankful that I was at the right place at the right time, the right equipment, the right training, and able to make a difference,” said Slade. “In public safety, that is all you can usually ask for.”

For more information on the reserve officer program, go to mpdc.dc.gov/page/MPDreserves

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