Recovering Fla. Police Officer Recalls Violent Ambush 6 Months Later

March 26, 2024
Accompanied by body camera footage of the incident, Tallahassee Police Officer Caleb Babb recounts the harrowing September 2023 shooting that left him seriously injured.

In an interview interspersed with body camera footage, a Florida police officer praised his colleagues' quick actions for helping him survive a violent ambush shooting last year that left him seriously wounded.

“My memory’s kind of fuzzy about what I did, so I know I was at work, and then, the call came about and I kind of went into work mode because it was my call,” Tallahassee Police Officer Caleb Babb said in a video interview released by the department Monday.

The incident happened Sept. 25 when Tallahassee Police Officer Caleb Babb responded to a home invasion burglary call. When Babb reached the scene, he heard noise from inside the home, and as he turned to investigate, a suspect opened fire.

“Dispatch, I’m hit! Dispatch, I’m hit!” Babb is heard yelling in the bodycam footage. In the interview, the officer said he had seen the muzzle flash and heard the gunfire as the suspect advanced on him.

Babb was struck in the leg, and blood streamed from the wound as he reached the side of the home. His first response was to tie off his leg with a tourniquet, not just to keep him alive, but to keep him in the fight, he said.

“I look down, and I have bright red arterial blood on my boot,” said Babb. “You can’t help others if you’re down for the count, so I know I had to kind of fix whatever this was, and then I could go back to work.”

Fortunately, Babb wasn't alone on the call. Other officers came to his aid before medics reached the scene, with one officer offering a prayer, as well.

“God, we need you. We need you right here. God, touch Babb,” said an officer in the footage. “We can’t do it on our own, Lord. But we’re going to be here, God.”

In the interview, Babb expressed his appreciation for the efforts of his fellow officers at the scene. 

“They went above and beyond to keep me alive, to get me to the people that could get me to be better,” he said.

Six months after the shooting, Babb continues his recovery. That's included undergoing surgery and rehab. He also has received the city's Purple Heart award.

"Now I need to recover," he said. "I want to get back to work. I know that's a weird thought to have. I get shot, and now I'm like, 'Hey, I really want to go back to work.'"

Three suspects were arrested following the shooting. Two of the suspects are charged with attempted murder stemming from the incident, and all three are scheduled to appear in court April 1.

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