Updated 12/26/2012 06:14 PM
Off-Duty Officer Who Arrived On Scene Describes What He Saw
An off-duty police officer who survived the tragedy in Webster is now telling his story. He says despite taking action to save lives, he is not the true hero.
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"I am no different than anybody standing in this room. I'm driving to work."
It's the route Greece Police Officer John Ritter takes every morning: Lake Road across Irondequoit Bay, headed for Greece.
"I left my house at approximately 5:35 in the morning."
This morning was different. John came up behind two firetrucks on Lake Road. Then:
"I started hearing popping noises."
The scene on Lake Road is mobbed with mourners now, but on Christmas Eve it was dark and clear. It's where John Ritter sat when he noticed two firetrucks to the south side of the road, stopped. Then from the north side, a gunshot rang out.
It struck John's windshield right in front of him, obstructing his view. He didn't know if he was hurt, and as he started to check his body for injuries, more gunshots rang out.
John realized he was likely in the middle of some sort of gun battle. He was not armed. Then's when he backed up, away from the scene.
"I backed up, a safe distance."
What he did next has John Ritter being called, "a hero."
"I backed my vehicle, I limped it up to the intersection of Lake Road. There were people coming and I was trying to keep them from going down into that area."
But in John Ritter's mind, he's not a hero at all.
"I don't know why I'm still here, other than there was some type of divine intervention that kept that round from penetrating through my car and hitting something else. So I don't... the true story is about four heroes that were wounded, or killed."