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Former Tempe police officer encourages blood donations

Scott Tipton and his wife, Jamie. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- About 600 people spent part of their Valentine's Day at a United Blood Services luncheon in Phoenix.

They heard the story of a man who desperately needed blood in July 2000.

Tempe Police Officer Scott Tipton was nearing the end of his shift. His wife, Jamie, was at home getting ready to go out to dinner on the couple's 10th wedding anniversary.

Then he responded to a call that would change their lives.

It was a domestic violence call at a strip mall. Tipton arrived to find a woman who had been bruised and her boyfriend was sitting in a car. The man became combative and shot Tipton seven times. Tipton returned fire and killed the suspect.

Tipton was transported to Maricopa Medical Center, where doctors discovered several wounds.

"One shot went through my arm, one went through my right upper thigh, and went through my side and through my chest, and severely damaged my right lung," he said.

Tipton underwent four surgeries and 27 blood transfusions to save his life. He has recovered, but had to retire from the force.

He is blood donor himself, and said he's living proof that you should also donate blood.

"You never know when you'll get into that accident, get cancer or become a burn victim," he said. "It's always nice to think that there will be blood there, but there won't be unless people donate."

Tipton, Jamie and their three children now live in Show Low, where he is an elected official. Tipton plans to run for a second term as constable.

To find out more about donating blood, go to or call (877) UBS-HERO.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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