Police say the officer is in critical condition at the hospital.By Jennifer Borrasso

BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) — A Butler County man shared his first-hand account of a tragic confrontation that left a Butler police officer hospitalized with multiple stab wounds.

A man was shot and killed after police say he stabbed a Butler officer multiple times with a knife on Tuesday.

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George Schmidt of Butler was there when it all happened, and he spoke exclusively with KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso.

“I saw the policeman fall over here with a knife sticking out of his stomach. And he reached over, he reached for his gun and pop, pop, pop,” Schmidt said.

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Schmidt says he found the officer stabbed in the stomach near his home on West Jefferson Street. He watched as the officer shot and killed 35-year-old John Ebberts, who investigators say was erratically jumping in and out of traffic.

“I was standing right here. I felt the bullets go by,” Schmidt said.

The former Marine and Vietnam veteran’s training kicked in when he saw the injured officer.

“I took my shirt off and I put it on his wound,” Schmidt said. “He was in pain. He kept saying, ‘Oh, my God.’ He told the cops, ‘Please, call my wife.'”

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Schmidt’s instincts told him not to pull out the knife.

(Photo: KDKA’s Nicole Ford)

“I had it just firm, not moving the knife at all. Just putting my hand with a t-shirt and trying to keep the blood from flowing,” he said.

“I said, ‘Sir, hang in there’ because I know he was traumatized, too. I could tell he was starting to pass out,” Schmidt added.

Schmidt kept him alive until help arrived.

“I just rolled off the guy. They put the gauze on him. I lost it. I started crying,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is still shaken up, but he feels he was in the right place at the right time.

“I have a guardian angel. I guess I was meant to save another fellow ex-Marine, a young man,” Schmidt said.

“I just hope I helped save a life. It’s sad I saw a life end. I still see his face,” Schmidt added.

Schmidt believes the police officer, a 27-year-old man, acted in self-defense.

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Police say the officer is in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. His name has not been released.

Jennifer Borrasso