Legally blind citizen helps Fort Worth officers in struggle with armed suspect

A Fort Worth man didn't let his physical limitations stop him from helping two officers in what could have been a deadly situation.

Over the weekend, two Fort Worth officers struggled to arrest two suspects. One of them was armed. That's when James Walker stepped in and used the training from his former job.

Walker is legally blind and incredibly alert.

"I heard some intense conversations," he recalled. "I looked over and noticed there was police cars behind our vehicle."

Walker and his wife had just finished some banking at Wells Fargo when he found himself right next to a situation he could not ignore.

"I really feel like it was a God thing," he said. "I felt like God said, 'Watch.' So I stood there. I was obedient."

Officers Matthew Brazeal and David Woolbright were investigating a report of shots fired at the bank and were trying to get two suspects into custody. One of them was armed and resisting.

"Then it got to the point where we have them both on the ground, and there's an unsecured firearm," Woolbright recalled. "It becomes, 'Ok, we have to get this firearm taken care of.'"

"Now that a pistol is laying out, there's no telling who else is around or what's going on," Brazeal said. "He may try to pick it up and use it. We don't know."

Although Walker is legally blind now, he has police academy training. He was a reserve officer for three years but never served because of his failing eyesight. He let his instinct take over.

Using all of his senses, Walker could tell the suspect was getting out of hand and the officers needed. He stepped in and sat on the suspect's back.

Fort Worth police said because of Walker's help, no one was hurt.

"Mr. James Walker, you were able to show empathy and concern for everyone involved. Based on your experiences and awareness, you came to the aid of officers in need by tactically assisting in the arrest process," Fort Worth PD said on Twitter. "Two officers went home safely to their loved ones thanks to your efforts on that day. Mr. Walker, you truly have a guardian spirit, and for this, the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Police Department commends you (and thank you) for your actions."

"I can see silhouettes," Walker said. "They didn't really need my help. They did an amazing job. But I wasn't going to walk away and let them get hurt."

The suspects safely taken into custody are 14 and 18 years old.

The department is recommending Walker for an award.