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EXCLUSIVE: Video shows suspect stab East Peoria police officer

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EAST PEORIA (HOI) -- 35 seconds. That's how long East Peoria Police Officer Jeffrey Bieber fought for his life against a suspect who stabbed him 10 times with a knife.

Police bodycam and dashcam footage obtained exclusively by Heart of Illinois ABC via a Freedom of Information Act request capture the entire struggle between Bieber and domestic violence suspect Joshua Crites.

HOI ABC: "In that moment, did you think you were going to die?"

Bieber: "100 percent."

The encounter starts when Bieber pulls over a white Ford truck at an East Peoria CVS Pharmacy in the early morning of February 2.

After a minute-long conversation and noticing that Crites' hands are bloody, Bieber decides to take him into custody. He then asks Crites if he needs medical attention for his bleeding hands.

Bieber: "Do you need medics?

Crites: "Yes please."

Bieber: "Send medics this way also for a male bleeding from the hands."

"That ended up being my ambulance a few minutes later," Bieber said.

Bieber then walks Crites over to his police cruiser and is preparing to handcuff him when Crites makes his move.

The graphic dashcam video shows Crites stab Bieber several times before a scuffle ensues.

Bieber first tries deploying a stun gun before being taken to the ground. Then, 15 seconds after the first stab, Bieber draws his service weapon.

He fires four shots over a 17-second period, fatally wounding Crites, before finally radioing for help.

Bieber says he last viewed the dashcam footage a few days after the incident and would be happy if he never saw it again.

"It kind of gave me some feelings watching it, and it just made me teary-eyed a little bit," Bieber said. "While I'm watching it, I just don't understand how I'm here watching it because I should be dead."

Now, after four months, Bieber says his 10 stab wounds are healing miraculously well.

He returned to work last week, and he was honored with a proclamation by the East Peoria City Council.

"It's unbelievable. It's inspiring," Bieber said of the support he and his family received. "It inspired me to be a better police officer today because of it, and to help others in need."

In the interest of transparency, Heart of Illinois ABC is including a raw version of the video attached to this article. Audio has been removed.

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Alex Gaul

Alex Gaul joined WEEK 25 News and Heart of Illinois ABC in January 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist. He formerly worked for KPNX-TV and KAET-TV, both in Phoenix, Arizona. The Illinois-native is an alum of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

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