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'She would have bled out': Baldwin sheriff says deputies saved woman's life after shooting, hammer attack

The entire attack took about 5 seconds, and it only took 35 seconds for the deputies to tend to the woman's injuries.

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ga. — EDITOR'S NOTE: The bodycam video is graphic and contains profanity.

A 48-year-old woman is still in the hospital, and the two Baldwin County deputies who shot her are still on leave.

The sheriff's office released the bodycam footage from last week at Antioch Baptist Church, which they say shows the woman coming at the deputies with a hammer. Sheriff Bill Massee says the woman, Fiesta Murphy, was an inmate at the Baldwin County jail, but was released December 9.

He believes that's when she walked about four miles to Antioch Baptist Church, broke in and made herself at home.

It was the little things that told Pastor Donald Tuft something wasn't right.

"That picture frame, it had to be inside of the church," Tuft told the first deputy to arrive. "This TV was inside of the church."

He suspected someone broke into the church on Old Monticello Road, so he called the sheriff's office. Deputies combed the sanctuary looking for evidence when they say suddenly, Murphy attacked them with a hammer, hitting one deputy in the arm.

"Instantaneous from the time it started until the time it was over," described Massee.

The attack took just 5 seconds. It took another 35 seconds for the deputies to start medical treatment.

"Lay your legs straight out, dear. Let me see where you're hit at," one of the deputies told Murphy.

EMTs arrived 12 minutes after the shooting, according to the bodycam footage. They took her to Atrium Health Navicent.

"The GBI was told by the EMTs at the scene that if they had not provided this aid and put a tourniquet on her, that she would have bled out," Massee told reporters Monday.

The deputies, Ernesto Lopez and Greg See, are still on administrative leave, pending GBI investigation. Massee says he hopes to get the two back to work soon. He says they followed protocol.

"I think under the circumstances it should not be a lengthy investigation," Massee added.

Massee expects Murphy to be released from the hospital in the next few days. He says after that, she likely won't return to the Baldwin County jail. Instead, Massee says they're looking for another facility where they can get her mental health treatment.

Massee says the incident highlights homelessness and the need for solutions. Murphy faces charges of burglary and arson, with more charges possible.

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