MINNEAPOLIS (CBS/AP) Sgt. Joe Bergeron didn't even have time to undo his seatbelt before he was gunned down by a carjacking suspect, according to the sole witness to the heinous crime.
Retired 20-year veteran firefighter, Bill Langevin, says he saw Sgt. Bergeron just minutes before he was gunned down Saturday near a jogging trail in Maplewood, Minn., about 15 miles outside of Minneapolis.
After exchanging waves, he says, the squad vehicle stopped a short distance away. What followed next will be burned on his memory forever, according to CBS affiliate WCCO.
"I seen two individuals, a black and white male, come around his open car door. The black male raised his hand and extended it into the vehicle and shot the police officer," said Langevin.
Sgt. Bergeron was investigating a report of a carjacking nearby in Maplewood around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, when police say he stopped two suspects, later identified as 21-year-old Jason John Jones and 21-year-old Joshua Michael Martin, both of St. Paul.
Police said Jones walked up to Sgt. Bergeron's squad car and shot the officer as he started to get out of the vehicle to question the two men.
Langevin says that without thinking he ran to the officer's car to try and help him; he realized later that he could have been next had the shooters turned around as they fled the scene.
"They killed that police officer. They would have had no qualms about killing me," Langevin told WCCO.
He said he checked for a pulse, even though it was clear that Sgt. Bergeron was beyond saving, and then grabbed the radio handset, which he said was hard to find in all the blood, and called in "Officer down. Needs assistance."
Langevin was able to give a description of the suspects and the direction that they fled, which aided police in their search for the armed men.
An emotional Langevin said he always says a prayer before leaving or his morning jog but that from now on "I am going to stop and say a prayer for Sgt. Bergeron."
Authorities say Jason John Jones actually pulled the trigger in the deadly shooting; he was killed after he attacked another officer. Joshua Michael Martin surrendered to police, and has been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree intentional murder and kidnapping. Martin is being held on $2 million bail.