MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – A full year has passed since fate brought three West Texans together on August 31st, but all three say they never stopped searching for one another in the months that followed.
Efe Obayagbona recalls being en route to Monahans. Working as an independent contractor, he drove semi-trucks for an oilfield company. Then on that Saturday afternoon, a curveball hit.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. What I experienced is something I would never wish on my enemy,” explained Obayagbona. “This side just blew up. Just blew up. Shattered — bones and everything, you know? Then the next thing, bullets were just ripping through my truck.”
Obayagbona was hit three times with a bullet on his wrist, arm and ribs. With his left hand, he steered himself to safety, where good samaritans quickly came to his rescue. Among the crowd were his two heroes.
“We were at the right place at the right time, and we were fortunate to help Efe out,” said Alex Esquibel. “I start applying tourniquets, Victoria shows up and she assists. He was our number one priority. You know while I’m back there with him, he was talking about his kids. You know, he didn’t want to leave, he was like ‘My kids, my kids, I’ve got kids’.”
Esquibel was working as a deputy for Midland County Sheriff’s Office. He recalls being out on a call when he was rerouted. His colleague, Victoria Reyes, was an investigator with MCSO’s Mental Health Division.
“Never did we ever expect that something like this would ever take place here in Midland,” said Reyes.
While officers were answering their call of duty, for Obayagbona, he will never forget the weight of their swift response to his call for help.
“I just can’t appreciate them enough,” said Obayagbona. “I just wish people can see the other side of our law enforcement officers. What they do, you know?”
In the months following, there was healing and forgiving. But forgetting the kindness of a stranger was not an option.
“I’ve made peace with it,” said Reyes. “I think in our profession we have to in order to heal, and you can’t hold that grudge.”
Going forward, they hope to keep in touch wherever life takes them.