COLUMBUS, Ga. – Back in October, Columbus Police responded to an alarm at a home on Hilton Avenue. Police Chief Ricky Boren said that the scene resembled a burglary and that there could still be someone in the house.
Chief Boren said the officers followed the correct protocol going through the house. While in the house, shots were fired at Officer Joshua McQuien.
“It all happens in a split second,” McQuien said. “One minute, everything is good. The next second, it changes.”
McQuien was hit in the shoulder area, but the fact that the body armor McQuien had on was worn properly prevented the bullet from going inside him. He said he notified the officer who was with him that he was shot, along with dispatch.
“Then after that moment, honestly all I could think about were my kids,” McQuien said. “That’s the first thought that came to my mind.”
Thursday, Point Blank Enterprises, the company who outfits the department with body armor provided McQuien with a new vest. The vests are mandatory for officers, and they are given a new one every five years regardless of its condition. The vest is designed to protect against 9 mm pistol bullets and 357 magnum pistol bullets. The vest comes with a trauma plate that helps mitigate the trauma from a higher caliber bullet.
“I have taken a vest much like this and shot it over 60 times with a pistol- stops every round,” Will Marshall of Point Blank Enterprises said. “They will take a lot of pounding. They are very much over engineered.”
McQuien said he has been very appreciative of all of the community support during the ordeal. McQuien is a man of faith and believed that God had his hands on him that October day.
During the presentation, McQuien thought of a Bible passage that carries a lot of weight for him each day. He talked about Deuteronomy where Moses gives his power to Joshua, and Joshua takes command over the Israelites. Before they crossed over the Jordan before going into the promised land, God told them they had to fight the armies in the land. God made them another promise that he will always be with them.
“When we put on this vest, this badge, this gun, this equipment, we go out into a fight against evil in this world,” McQuien said. “I believe if we have faith in God, and believe in him, he’s gonna be with us. He won’t leave us. He won’t forsake us, and he’ll protect us.”
Soon, McQuien will be able to visit Point Blank Enterprises’ factory in Pompano Beach, Fl. During that time, he will be able to tour the factory and meet those who manufacture the vests. He will also be able to meet and greet with other officers who have survived shootings while wearing the vests.