Sheriff's Deputy James Creed shot and killed Arthur DaRosa inside the Bertucci's restaurant in the Silver City Galleria in May after DaRosa went on a stabbing rampage that left two people dead.
DaRosa had entered a Taunton home, killing a woman and injuring her daughter.
After that encounter, DaRosa crashed his car into a nearby Macy's, attacked several people inside the store and continued his rampage inside Bertucci's.
Creed was inside the restaurant eating dinner with his wife when he saw a violent encounter unfold.
DaRosa stabbed a pregnant waitress. When confronted by Bertucci's patron George Heath, DaRosa killed him.
"It took a second to process it," Creed recalled in an exclusive interview with WBZ-TV's Bill Shields. "At first, it looked like they may have been horsing around like they knew each other. And then we quickly realized they weren't."
Creed stood up with his gun drawn and ordered DaRosa to drop the knife he was wielding.
The Sheriff's Deputy says he gave DaRosa every chance to drop the knife, admitting he allowed the assailant to get "probably too close" before he pulled the trigger.
"At that point, I just kept my firearm trained on him," said Creed. "And I kept giving him chances to drop it and get on the ground. Eventually he got too close, probably six or seven feet and I had to fire one round."
In the months since the violent incident that left two people dead, Creed has become close with Rosemary Heath.
Heath recalled that May evening as "chaos, absolutely chaos."
"You're thinking you're just going out to dinner and to a movie and you end up in a very bad situation," Heath said.
"I'm thankful. He saved my life. And I'll forever be thankful for that, and grateful, and honored to know both (Creed and his wife). They're like family now."
Creed said it's still "surreal" when he thinks back on how the evening played out.
He and his wife had never been to that Taunton Bertucci's before. The couple wanted pizza and salad, so they searched online for the closest location to them not knowing how the evening would play out.
"I OWE MY LIFE TO HIM"
Rosemary Heath, meanwhile, said that she and her husband were out for dinner and a movie, something they never had done on a Tuesday night.
"I think in some ways, we were all where we were supposed to be, when we were supposed to be there," Heath said.
Creed is now training a new police dog - a K-9 named Heath.
Though Creed was widely considered a hero for his actions, that is not how he sees it.
"I wouldn't refer to myself that way. To me, George Heath was the hero," said Creed. "George intervened first. If George hadn't intervened, I might not have had time to gather myself and get ready to do what I had to do. I would call George the hero."
Rosemary Heath, however, has no problem praising Creed as a hero.
"If he was not there I would not be here today," she said. "I owe my life to him."
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