MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi deputy who helped a wounded judge was honored for his actions, which may have saved the judge's life.

Lauderdale County deputy Sam Upchurch received a plaque Thursday from Chancery Judge Charlie Smith at the courthouse in Meridian, news outlets reported.

Upchurch, who is also a nurse, responded after Smith was shot March 16 in the courthouse parking lot. The deputy applied pressure to the judge's wound to help stabilize him until paramedics arrived.

“I recognized early on that Judge Smith was losing a large amount of blood and we had to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible,” Upchurch said.

“I probably would not be sitting here now without that contribution that Sam made, so it’s just wonderful,” said Smith.

The judge returned to work Wednesday, news outlets reported.

No arrests have been made in the shooting, which police believe was personally “directed toward” Smith. The East Mississippi Crime Stoppers has offered a $32,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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