A Dallas police officer is being hailed a hero after he was in the right place at the right time.
“I can tell you I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to die today,” said Officer Richard Stewart.
That is one of many thoughts Stewart was thinking as he pried a loaded gun out of a suspected thief's hand Tuesday night.
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Steward was off-duty and on his way to work when he saw two liquor store clerks wrestling the suspect on the ground outside Xpress Beverages on Storey Lane.
Driving his personal car, in plain clothes and without police gear, Stewart pulled over to help the clerks.
“He said, ‘No worry, no worry, I’m a police officer,” said Oscar Torres, one of the store clerks. “After that I started to calm down.”
“The guy pointed the gun at me and said, ‘I’m going to shoot you, I’m going to shoot you, I’m going to shoot you all,” Stewart said.
For five minutes the men fought on the ground, trying to control 32-year-old Carlos Lemos from killing them.
“He was actually trying to pull the trigger and put the gun up toward my head,” said Stewart.
Somehow Stewart, who is a seven-year veteran with DPD, was able to jam his finger behind the trigger and remove the bullets from the gun all while keeping the suspect in place until backup arrived.
“I don't think you have time to get scared,” said Stewart. “You’re fighting for your life. You got to do what you got to do.”
Torres said Lemos stole a bottle of vodka and tequila from his store. Now, Lemos at the Dallas County Jail facing several charges, including felony theft and assault of a police officer.