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Mother thanks Haines City police for saving her son's life after being shot 4 times

The mother of Tyriek Washington said thank you to the five Haines City officers who saved his life last week.

HAINES CITY, Fla. — The mother of an accused burglar thanked Haines City Police for saving his life.

Tyriek Washington's mother, Barbara Washington, met the five officers who saved his life at the Haines City Police Department. 

"I'm here to thank you guys for saving my son’s life. I really do appreciate it," she said.

On January 27., Tyriek Washington broke into a house in Haines City and was shot by the homeowner four times. He then ran away from the house to a nearby park. K-9 Cash led officers to Tyriek Washington minutes after he was shot.

Credit: Shannon Clowe

Officers found Tyriek Washington severely bleeding from four gunshot wounds. 

Body camera footage shows the officers jumping into action to save Tyriek Washington's life, which brought his mother to tears. 

"I didn’t know if they were going to be able to save him," Barbara Washington said.

Credit: Haines City Police

The five officers helped Tyriek Washington until paramedics arrived. 

"Kind of an eye-opening to look at it from her perspective instead of ours," Cpl. Joseph Elam said.

Officers explained meeting Barbara Washington made them understand how their actions meant so much to her. 

"To see it from her point of view really puts into perspective how much we actually did," Officer Justin Vasquez said. 

Her tears showed these officers the other side of their job. 

"I can understand her because I am a mother as well," Officer Esmeralda Dominges said.

Officers said they truly appreciated her gesture to say thank you. 

"That makes me happy because we’re always on the road and we don’t get too many people for saying thank you for what we do," Officer Noel Felicano said.

While they appreciate gratitude, they said what they did is a part of their job.

Tyriek Washington's mother is incredibly grateful her son is alive. She said he’s always had behavioral issues. 

"In my eyes, I just want him to get himself together," she said. 

Tyriek Washington has been arrested at least eight times in Polk County. Some of the officers who saved him have met him before from previous arrests. 

Officers said they want Washington to recognize what happened and reflect on his actions. 

"I hope that he dwells on this and realizes how lucky he truly is," Dublino said. 

A parent and police said that they hope this pivotal moment not only saved a life but will also change it.

"It’s nice meeting the officers so I don’t have to bury my son this weekend," Barbara Washington said. 

The mother also said she hasn’t been able to talk to him so she doesn’t know how he is currently, but hopes this weekend she’ll find out.

Haines City Police are still looking for another suspect who broke into the house.

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