BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) -- A Butler County man shared his first-hand account of a tragic confrontation that left a Butler police officer hospitalized with multiple stab wounds.
A man was shot and killed after police say he stabbed a Butler officer multiple times with a knife on Tuesday.
George Schmidt of Butler was there when it all happened, and he spoke exclusively with KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso.
"I saw the policeman fall over here with a knife sticking out of his stomach. And he reached over, he reached for his gun and pop, pop, pop," Schmidt said.
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Schmidt says he found the officer stabbed in the stomach near his home on West Jefferson Street. He watched as the officer shot and killed 35-year-old John Ebberts, who investigators say was erratically jumping in and out of traffic.
"I was standing right here. I felt the bullets go by," Schmidt said.
The former Marine and Vietnam veteran's training kicked in when he saw the injured officer.
"I took my shirt off and I put it on his wound," Schmidt said. "He was in pain. He kept saying, 'Oh, my God.' He told the cops, 'Please, call my wife.'"
Schmidt's instincts told him not to pull out the knife.
"I had it just firm, not moving the knife at all. Just putting my hand with a t-shirt and trying to keep the blood from flowing," he said.
"I said, 'Sir, hang in there' because I know he was traumatized, too. I could tell he was starting to pass out," Schmidt added.
Schmidt kept him alive until help arrived.
"I just rolled off the guy. They put the gauze on him. I lost it. I started crying," Schmidt said.
Schmidt is still shaken up, but he feels he was in the right place at the right time.
"I have a guardian angel. I guess I was meant to save another fellow ex-Marine, a young man," Schmidt said.
"I just hope I helped save a life. It's sad I saw a life end. I still see his face," Schmidt added.
Schmidt believes the police officer, a 27-year-old man, acted in self-defense.
Police say the officer is in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. His name has not been released.
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