A Florida K-9 deputy was on his way home when he heard horns blasting, not an unusual nuisance in Ocala, Fla., during rush hour.
But when he looked toward the noise, he saw a white Hyundai in the opposite lane, where two women were frantically trying to get his attention. "My baby's not breathing!" screamed his mother, Nechole Crowell.
Deputy Jeremie Nix pulled a fast U-turn and stopped behind the women's car. Dashcam footage shows a clearly distraught Crowell run from the passenger side holding her lifeless, 3-month-old boy. She handed him to Nix, pleading, "Don't let my baby die," the deputy told reporters Thursday during a press conference.
The deputy had no idea what was wrong with the tiny boy, named Kingston. "I put the baby down... listened. Didn't hear any breathing, couldn't find a pulse. Did some chest compression, trying to get a breath," he said.
Nix said he heard one or two shallow breaths. Paramedics were on the way. But "I don't hear sirens. I don't hear nobody coming and I thought, 'I don't have time.'''
He picked up the baby, hugged it to his chest and ran to his cruiser. "I just gripped him as hard as I could and I put it in drive and I went," he said.
He hugged the baby with his left hand and hugged the steering wheel with his right. He ran his lights and sirens as he headed to the nearest hospital, which was only a mile away. He maneuvered around cars and sped through a construction zone in the medical center's parking lot.
He ran his siren all the way to the emergency room doors. "Ambulances don't have their sirens on when they pull up, so that kind of got everyone's attention," Nix said.
He jumped out and handed Kingston to the first nurse he saw, and the baby was whisked away.
Kingston's mom and aunt had followed Nix in their car.
The sheriff's office announced Thursday that Kingston was doing fine and was expected to make a full recovery. Nix and his wife, who have four children, went to visit Kingston in the hospital, where Nix held the sleeping infant tethered to tubes.
"Doctors also said that because of K-9 Deputy Nix's actions, Baby Kingston is alive today," the department wrote on Facebook. "We are tremendously proud of Deputy Nix and we can already see that he and Baby Kingston will have a deep connection that will last a lifetime!"
In a Facebook post Thursday morning, Kingston's mom wrote, "Yesterday GOD showed me just how real he was. My son KING was barely breathing, & fighting for his life.
“His word to me was ‘Don’t you worry, i will not leave until i help save your son!’ ’GOD had me in the right place because he knew you needed me... THANK YOU OFFICER JAY NIX."
"I just wanted the world to know how great this officer is, & how GREAT GOD is,” she wrote, adding, "Not all officers are bad, he’s one of many good guys."
Kingston is now at home and doing well, his mom says. It's not clear what caused the baby to stop breathing.