Corporal Christopher Slocumb and Deputy Brandon Laethem awarded life saving medalions

Published 8:54 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Sumter County Sheriff Eric Bryant addressed those gathered. “Here in Sumter County along with this State and this Nation we are faced with gun violence each and every day. Unfortunately the men and women of public safety, they put their lives on the line, they respond, they work 12 hour shifts, sometimes four and five days at a time to serve and protect the people of this community. As a Sumter County Sheriff’s office and Sheriff, we want to take a moment out of our days to recognize those men and women that do that, that make that sacrifice, to do the job that they are trained to do.”

Both Corporal Christopher Slocumb and Deputy Brandon Laethem were presented with live saving medallions. Laethem was the first to respond to a shooting, followed by Slocumb, where a young women lost her life. Both responded to a second shooting, with Slocumb arriving first, saving a young man’s life.

Sekethia Mack, the mother of the victim whose life was saved, attended the award ceremony, expressing her appreciation to the men who saved her son. “I am greatly appreciative of attending the awards for the guys that saved my son. It really meant a lot to me, because they did their best to make sure he was here, and he’s still here.”

Slocumb detailed the events of the second shooting. As he responded to calls of a gunfire, he heard there was a shooting on Furlow Street. He mentioned that upon arrival he found the victim. “He had sustained gunshot wounds to his hand and to his leg. I received training in Thomasville from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in tact-med training, we were trained how to handle mass bleeding, airway control, respiratory, a few other things. I carry tourniquets, pressure bandages, quikclot.”

Slocumb mentioned applying one tourniquet before help arrived, when another tourniquet was applied to the victim’s leg. Laethem was one of the two who provided security for the victim after reaching the hospital.

Laethem talked about responding to the shooting that eventually claimed a young woman’s life. “They told me to proceed with caution, because I was the only one in the area, and we didn’t know if the shooters were still active or in the area.”

He examined the victim for wounds, applying pressure to an entry wound to her neck with a clean towel. The victim was taken away from the site in an ambulance, but he learned she later passed away. “When we clock in at five, we get a text message saying she didn’t make it.

When asked what it was like receiving the award, Laethem replied; “It’s kind of a bittersweet moment, because we ended up losing somebody, but . . .Corporal Slocumb did save somebody. I won’t forget her.” He stated that the victim who lost her life was in the wrong place at the wrong time.