RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Fallen Richardson Police Officer David Sherrard's courage wasn't just something his fellow officers witnessed, it was captured on body cam video and released publicly on Monday.
Sherrard's widow Nicole recently watched it herself.
She told CBS 11 she wants the world to see what she's always known.
"The video shows even more strength than I've heard," Nicole Sherrard said.
The jarring images that until now have only been seen only by his widow, a jury and authorities are from body cam videos of a violent shootout and recorded the brave last moments of David Sherrard's life.
"He would lay his life down," she said. That's what all of them would do," she said.
Sherrard's own body camera recorded him walking toward a bedroom until a rifle round struck him in the neck.
"I don't think he had time to be scared," Nicole said.
The body cam videos come from officers who entered a Richardson apartment.
It's where Brandon McCall waited in a back room with a rifle as officers entered after McCall's roommate was found dead outside.
After kicking in the door, Sherrard courageously led the way.
"He led the charge into the apartment," said Nicole. "What does that say about him? I'm not surprised if he had to do it again I'm sure he would."
The video also captured an instinctive decision by the wounded veteran SWAT team that his chief and widow say undoubtedly saved the lives of other officers.
Officer Sherrard got himself out of the apartment before he collapsed to protect other officers from putting their lives at risk to get him out.
"David walked himself down the breezeway which is incredible strength," said Richardson Police Chief Jimmy Spivey. "To be able to get himself out of the apartment so that there weren't other tragedies that night is such a brave and heroic act. It's something that we'll never forget."
That night in February 2918 is still clear in Nicole Sherrard's memory.
"There were days in the last two years or so I didn't want to get up," she said.
It's the night that Nicole lost her high school sweetheart and their two teenage daughters lost a father.
One of those daughters showed they inherited their father's courage when she testified in the punishment phase of Brandon McCall's capital murder trial.
"It took strength to sit there right across from the man who took their dad," she said.
Nicole Sherrard credits Collin County DA Greg Willis and Lead Prosecutor Bill Wirskye with helping her through the trial where she had to face her husband's killer for two weeks.
But the young widow made sure that the man responsible was sent to death row and now faces life preserving her husband's legacy.
"I realized after the trial was over that I'm stronger than I thought I was," she said.
Part of preserving Sherrard's legacy will be naming a section of Highway 75 in Richardson after him as well as this entryway to the new Richardson Police Headquarters next month.
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