ELM CITY, N.C (CBS Local) — A nurse is being credited for helping to save the life of a North Carolina trooper who was shot in the face Monday and left for dead.

Sherice Richardson, 28, said she was headed to Rocky Mount to pick up her toddler.

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“I was going around a curve, saw some blue lights so I slowed down some more, then I got out of the car that’s when I seen the bullet holes in the windshield,” Richardson told WTVD.

“I got to the car, he just had blood coming from his face and I was like ‘Oh my God, are you OK?’ and all I could hear him say was ‘I’m hit, I’m hit.’ And I was like we need to give him help so I called 911.”

Luckily for the trooper, Richardson is a registered nurse.

“He had some gauze or something in his car so I did instruct another bystander while I was on the phone with EMS to put the pressure on his face,” she said.

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She said she waited with Trooper Daniel Harrell until emergency responders arrived.

“It was weird,” she said. “You’re sitting here with someone that is supposed to protect you and he’s down but you’ve got to do something. I’m just thankful. I had him in my prayers. I’m just grateful he made it out so fast.”

“God put me on that road for a reason at that time,” said Richardson.

Police said the shooting happened around 5:15 p.m. during a traffic stop on Haynes Road, southeast of Elm City, about an hour east of Raleigh. Harrell’s patrol cruiser had a dozen bullet holes in the windshield, as well as front-end damage.

Harrell, who has been on the force for five years, was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

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Police have three suspects in custody.