Guthrie officer faces life or death decision

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GUTHRIE, Okla. - The call came in late Wednesday morning.

A man was acting erratic behind the counter, near the vault at the Guthrie Cash Saver.

When police arrived, the man pulled out a knife.

Store security footage shows the officer pull his out gun.

"The thing about being within 6 feet of an officer, because of that distance, that close and the knife, he would have been well within legal justification to have shot him right then without a command," said Guthrie Public Information Officer Anthony Gibbs.

Instead, the 22-year veteran used experience and patience.

The Guthrie officer determined he was hallucinating, perhaps a drug overdose.

"He wasn't able to talk anymore. His eyes rolled in the back of his head, and we had a medical emergency," Gibbs told us.

Authorities got the man restrained then to an Oklahoma City trauma unit - alive, because an officer made a split-second life or death decision.

"There were at least 10 people attending to him for hours. If they could see all the things they did: an officer opened his airways so he could breathe. I'd like for him to see that, the care and concern that everyone put into saving his life, that he was still going to be here tomorrow," Gibbs said.

And, once he recovers, it's back to the Logan County Detention Center where he had just been released hours before the incident.