LGBT activist remembers Officer Wagstaff helping him from brink - KCTV5

LGBT activist remembers Officer Wagstaff helping him from brink of suicide

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Zachary  Mallory still remembers the time Officer Wagstaff helped him back from the brink of suicide. (File Photo - 2014, KCTV) Zachary Mallory still remembers the time Officer Wagstaff helped him back from the brink of suicide. (File Photo - 2014, KCTV)
Officer Thomas Wagstaff was critically injured when he responded to a reported robbery and was struck by a bullet. (KCTV) Officer Thomas Wagstaff was critically injured when he responded to a reported robbery and was struck by a bullet. (KCTV)
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Officer Thomas Wagstaff has saved lives as an Independence police officer and doing so changed the course of one man's life for good.

Zachary Mallory is an LGBT advocate from Independence. KCTV5 covered when he received Nickelodeon's Halo Award recognizing outstanding teenagers in 2014.

In his sophomore year of high school, Mallory tried to take his own life and he said Wagstaff was one of responding officers who intervened. He said Wagstaff grabbed his hand and told him everything would be okay.

He said Wagstaff stayed with him a while to make sure he was okay.

Mallory said that interaction saved his life and set him on a positive course.

"That really opened my eyes," he said. "It inspired me. Every day since that day I've been trying to help people with the issues they're going through."

The teenager would go on to win several local and national awards for his work. Now, he counsels others through his work in Iowa.

On Friday, he video chatted KCTV5 today about his interaction with the now wounded officer and how he feels devastated by the shooting. 

“I told officer Wagstaff I was gay,” he said. “He seemed more lenient and understanding. I had expected the complete opposite. It's emotional. When I heard he was the one who was shot, I said, "Oh my god. He saved my life.’"

Related:

Local teen activist awarded for spreading anti-bullying message

Independence Fraternal Order of Police establishes account for officer struck by bullet

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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