Off-duty firefighter helps shooting victim in Rutherford County

Captain Brad Petty
Posted at 9:30 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 00:17:01-05

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Moments after shots are fired on a busy interstate, an off-duty firefighter and his daughter rush to help the victim.

Captain Brad Petty was driving on I-24 East in Rutherford County Saturday afternoon with his family, heading home from his son’s wrestling tournament in Lebanon. As he approached the I-840 exit, he noticed a man on the side of the road jumping up and down and appearing to be in distress.

"I could tell by the look on his face and the fear and panic he had, I knew there was something really serious going on," said Capt. Petty.

He pulled off the road, and ran up to the man's car to help. He found Rickiya Compton, 19, inside the car with a gunshot wound to her head.

"When I opened the door, she was about to fall out," recalled Capt. Petty. "I reached down and felt for a pulse. She had a strong pulse, and about that time she gasped, so I set her up, and it opened up her airway."

Capt. Petty also used Compton's brother's shirt to apply pressure to the wounds. His daughter Hannah, an 18-year-old lifeguard, helped relay information to dispatchers and keep Compton's family calm.

"I kind of just jumped in and started helping,"said Hannah Petty. "I wanted to go and do what I could to help the situation."

Capt. Petty's 8-year-old son captured video on his phone of the LifeFlight helicopter transporting Compton to the hospital.

Capt. Petty never hesitated to jump in and help and credited his training.

"The way our fire department trains and teaches us is to show compassion and to be able to bring calmness and control to the chaos," said Capt. Petty.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's office said Compton was riding with her twin sister, Rickelle, and another man in the vehicle when she was shot. No one else was injured. Investigators initially called the incident a road rage shooting, but later said it was a targeted shooting.

A witness followed the suspects, and was able to share a license plate number with Murfreesboro Police.

La Vergne Police later located the vehicle at a residence in La Vergne. The suspects were later stopped and detained by police.

Keyonn Warfield, 20, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit attempted first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon while committing a dangerous felony. Rizighallah Ivan Khemis, 19, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit attempted first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon while committing a dangerous felony.

Both men were charged and booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. Warfield is being held on a $175,000 bond and Khemis was held on $125,000 bond.

At last report, Compton was in the hospital in critical but stable condition.

"I just keep praying for them and I hope they know a lot of people out there are pulling for them," said Capt. Petty. "I hope everything turns out really good for them."