SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento father watched his son dying after he was gunned down in the street.
There was no response, no heartbeat and no hope for Michael Caldwell that his son would survive.
What a Sacramento Police officer did next would change all of their lives forever.
On May 30, Michael Caldwell found his son Marcellis lying motionless in a pool of blood. He was one of five victims in a vicious drive-by shooting.
Families had gathered in Oak Park for a quiet Memorial Day barbecue when the bullets started to fly.
Four victims survived, but Marcellis’ life was slipping away.
Sacramento Police officer Beth Glynn was right around the corner.
“I heard over the radio that there was shooting,” she said. “I saw him laying in the gutter and I saw a tremendous amount of blood.”
A man frantically giving Marcellis CPR sees Glynn walking up.
“And he said, ‘That’s my boy,’ and my heart just sank,” she said.
She knows him.
“I saw what turned out to be Mr. Caldwell over his son doing CPR on his son,” she said.
Caldwell pressed his son to hold on.
“I’m telling him, ‘Hey Son stay with me, stay with me.’ His eyes were closed. He wasn’t coherent at all. I believe he was hearing me and I kept doing CPR until I got assistance,” he said.
“When I looked at him,” Glynn said, “I can tell he was starting to emotionally lose it. So I pushed him out of the way and started CPR.”
Arriving on scene that day were Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies Amar Gandhi and Jeb Trummel.
“Got bodies laying everywhere, people screaming for help,” Gandhi said.
“We checked for a pulse on him and there was no pulse on him,” Trummel said. “So, I jumped in with her and started doing CPR.:
Glynn wonders if Marcellis was already gone at that point.
“I didn’t think he was still with us but I wanted him to at least have an opportunity to fight for it,” she said.
Both officers continued CPR.
“You have to have that little glimmer hope that you can do something,” Gandhi said.
Minutes ticked by until finally, there was a pulse.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Caldwell said.
Marcellis was rushed to the UC Davis Medical Center with a bullet that struck his jaw, nicked his vocal cords and spine, leaving him unable to speak and paralyzed from the neck down.
He wasn’t expected to survive, something that Michael refused to share with his wife and kids.
“I kept it to myself. I never told nobody until now. Until now,” he said.
Months later, Marcellis is now going through physical therapy, surrounded by the love of his parents and siblings. He’s off a respirator and thankful to be alive.
He greets the newest member of the Caldwell family, officer Glynn. She’s made several visits.
“She’s the 99 percent,” Michael Caldwell said. “She’s the 99 percent.”
Michael and his wife Marthea say the ongoing tension between the African-American community and law enforcement cannot be ignored, but believe trust can be restored if officers follow Glynn’s example of stepping out of their cruisers and starting a conversation with the people they serve.
“She did know our family. She took the time to stop wave and say how you doing,” Marthea Caldwell said.
“She actually cares about everybody else,” Marcellis said.
Inspired by Glynn, he now dreams of donning the Sacramento Police uniform.
“I just want to keep peace in the city and stop the gun violence,” he said.
“What can you say?” Michael Caldwell said. “My heart goes out to her. To wear that badge—to wear that badge to go out there and knowing you might be a target, you have to have heart.”
Mom and Dad hope their son’s healing will bring the same between people of color and cops.
“Because right here should touch millions of people and let them know we all got bad ones but we got some good ones. And she’s one of the 99 percenters and the other officer as well,” he said.
A good update tonight: The Caldwell family says Marcellis is home tonight and will continue extensive therapy to be able to walk and talk normally again.
RELATED: Marcellis’ GoFundme page