SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California Highway Patrol officer Tony Pacheco was shot in the leg while investigating a crash on Interstate 8 Wednesday afternoon.
The suspect 25-year-old Yuhao Du was arrested, and faces an attempted murder charge, among other charges.
CHP told ABC 10News Thursday Officer Pacheco is now in stable condition. The seven year veteran is currently at Scripps Mercy Hospital where he is recovering.
On April 27, Officer Pacheco was talking to a driver who had been involved in a crash on I-8. According to CHP, that the driver attacked Pacheco, reached for his firearm, and while they were struggling, Pacheco was shot in the leg.
As seen on video ABC10 News obtained by bystanders, strangers on the freeway saw it all unfold and stepped in to help.
One Good Samaritan, a nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, tells ABC10News he was on his way to work when he saw Pacheco on the ground. The nurse, who declined an on camera interview, says he cut his backpack to use as a tourniquet, while other bystanders held the suspect until authorities arrived.
"It leaves you with a sense of vulnerability because you don't want your husband to go to work because you know something just happened," said Rachel Ashley.
Ashley is married to a 21 year veteran patrol officer. She says she knows what Pacheco's family must be feeling, as her husband has been involved in two crashes that almost cost him his life.
"Something like that you don't have time to think about anything you just go, you want to think about your husband, your spouse and just think about everything he does and officers do everyday," said Ashley.
She furthers, "Officers everyday they don't think twice, they leave the door, and you just expect to see them come home in the morning."
Ashley says that she is still scared of getting a call in the middle of the night, and that is what all family members of law enforcement face. She says seeing others helping Officer Pacheco is a reminder that her community has law enforcement's back.
It gives Ashley peace, "They get out of the uniform at the end of the day, you know they go for a work shift to provide for their family and their spouses but they are still human."
She says, "I happen to see the video of that and thought how amazing that these people didn't think twice, got out of their cars, stopped the bleeding, and protected him."
There is currently a GoFundMe for Pacheco's family. The GoFundMe says that Pacheco has two children, and his wife is pregnant with their third.
Ashley says for those looking to help, you can provide support by either going to the GoFundMe or writing a simple card to CHP headquarters.