Deputy Matthew Self

(Guilford County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina)

On February 27, 2017, at 5:37 p.m., Deputy Matthew Self was dispatched to a 911 call in Brown Summit, North Carolina. When Deputy Self approached the front door of the residence, he heard what sounded like a domestic argument occurring inside. He knocked on the front door and was confronted by a male subject who partially opened the door and stood with the left side of his body concealed behind the door. As Deputy Self questioned the subject, a woman (later determined to be the subject’s wife) appeared in the doorway and walked quickly past the subject and out the door. As she passed him, the subject raised a handgun from behind the door and pointed it at the woman in an obvious attempt to shoot her in the back of the head.

In response, Deputy Self lunged forward and pushed the gun down while simultaneously drawing his own weapon and firing. This quick reaction allowed the woman to run from the house, at which point the subject pointed his gun at Deputy Self. Several shots were exchanged between Deputy Self and the subject. During the firefight, both Deputy Self and the subject were shot twice. Deputy Self was shot in his left hip and left bicep. The subject was shot once in the chest, but the round was stopped by a ballistic vest he was wearing. He also received a gunshot wound to his foot.

After being shot, Deputy Self fell backward off the front porch and onto the ground. The injury to his bicep rendered his left arm unusable and caused considerable blood loss. Deputy Self also experienced a weapon malfunction that left him only feet away from the assailant without a means of defending himself.

While Deputy Self remained on the ground, the assailant fired multiple rounds at his wife as she ran into the woods nearby. This brief pause allowed Deputy Self to radio for help, clear his weapon malfunction on the heel of his boot, run for cover, and fire several additional rounds at the assailant.

Deputy Self made it to the wood line on the side of the house and eventually to the ditch near the roadway, where he collapsed. While awaiting assistance and in shock, Deputy Self calmly detailed his injuries and directed responding units. The next deputy who arrived on the scene was able to provide emergency aid to Deputy Self by applying a tourniquet to his arm, saving his life.

The Special Response Team arrived at the scene and used tear gas to force the assailant out of the house. As the assailant walked out of the house, he shot himself in the mouth. The assailant was transported to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries. His wife sustained a gunshot wound to her foot during the incident, and was also transported to the hospital and treated for her injury. Deputy Self was transported to the hospital and underwent surgery for his injuries. The assailant was subsequently charged with attempted first-degree murder.

During the incident, Deputy Self acted decisively and courageously to respond to this violent assault, and remained in the fight after being severely wounded. His quick actions were instrumental not only in protecting the life of the assailant’s fleeing spouse but also in protecting his own life.

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