HAMPTON, S.C. (FOX 13) - The terrifying sudden shooting of a South Carolina police officer back in 2016 was recorded by a camera in his own eyeglasses. This week, that footage helped convict the man who tried to kill him.
It was back on New Year's Day in 2016 when Estill Police Officer Quincy Smith responded to a call about a man trying to snatch groceries from customers at a liquor store. When Smith spotted a man matching the suspect's description, he ordered the man to stop.
But the video footage shows the man ignore the request and continue talking on a cell phone. When Smith told the man to take his other hand out of his pocket or be Tasered, the man pulled out a handgun and opened fire.
Officer Smith was struck at least three times, suffering two broken arm bones and a "life threatening" neck injury. At least two of the eight rounds were fired while Smith was lying on the ground and another two were fired as Smith ran for cover, according to prosecutors.
"Tell my family that I love them," Smith is heard in the video telling dispatchers.
The emergency room physician who treated Smith at Memorial Health Medical Center in Savannah testified that a bullet completely severed a vein in the right side of the officer's neck. A bullet also passed through his upper torso and was removed from his back, but he survived.
"If but not for the grace of God and some very good doctors, this would not only have been a murder case, but a death penalty case," said 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, who prosecuted the case.
Prosecutors released the video as part of the case against the suspect, Malcolm Antwan Orr. It only took jurors 45 minutes to convict the 29-year-old of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Officer Smith testified at the trial that he had bought the video-recording eyeglasses on Amazon himself. He called it the best $30 he ever spent.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO (mobile app users, click here):