June 9, 2021 was a day no member of law enforcement ever wants to experience. The night began when they received calls of a man acting suspiciously, drawing with chalk on the side of the road. 

Broome County Sheriff's Office Deputy Emily Zielewicz was one of the first on scene, and it didn’t take long for what seemed like a simple call to turn dangerous. 

“He came out with a 308 hunting rifle and he has said before he went into the house that I should be scared, and that I was going to die. And when he came out, he said all the cops are going to die,” Zielewicz said.

Then, just moments before she could establish a perimeter, things took a turn for the worse. 

“We heard a shot go off while we were still in the driveway getting out and then we heard another shot, and at that point, he had walked sort of behind the house and we didn’t know exactly where he was,” Zielewicz said.

Not long after, the deputy heard another shot, this time, followed by screaming. She’d soon find that Trooper Becky Seager had been shot in the hip before the suspect fled. 

Zielewicz raced over to her, applying a tourniquet, before getting her into her car and driving her to safety as another shot was fired towards her vehicle. 

“Things are happening, she held her cool, she worked to get to that trooper, to help her the best she could. Shots were being fired and she still kept her cool and did what she had to in her job and she’d only been on a little over two years, almost three,” Broome County Sheriff David Harder said.

“I think you don’t know you’re going to react until you’re in that situation, but we do do a lot of training and that’s probably how I was able to stay calm. You prepare for it every day,” Zielewicz said.

Thanks to a young deputy’s quick response, Trooper Seager was able to recover, and Zielewicz will forever be called a hero. 

Deputy Zielewicz is now a candidate for the nationwide RISE awards, which honor members of law enforcement who save lives.