EL DORADO SPRINGS, Mo. -- A 25-year-old Cedar County sheriff deputy was shot and killed Saturday night during a routine traffic stop.
It happened in the small town of El Dorado Springs, Mo., a town that is mourning what they say is a huge loss to their community.
A speechless type of pain is felt by those who knew him.
"It's so hard to...I don't know, I can't," said Gerald Chism lost his 25-year-old nephew, Matt Chism.
Gerald got the worst news he’d ever received.
"I was still in bed when my wife brought my cell up this morning with a call from my father,” he said.
Deputy Matt Chism pulled over a car with a broken headlight near the intersection of US 54 and 82. Two people were inside. Almost immediately, the passenger got out of the car and ran. Chism ran after him. Investigators say the two got into a physical fight.
"The suspect had a 45 automatic on him, drew his weapon fired once," Gerald said.
At some point, both Chism and the suspect were shot during the scuffle.
"Matt was hit in the neck. Probably struck the artery and you only have 30-45 seconds before you bleed out," said Gerald.
The suspect died at the scene, and Chism later died at the hospital.
Hours later, the flags in his town of Stockton were flying at half-staff. Jars are placed throughout businesses to raise money for his family.
"It just shows me that the community is aware of the importance of what Matt contributed to the community in his line of work," Gerald said.
Family says his work and his family were his world.
Chism leaves behind a wife, and three-year-old son.
"He's gonna grow up without a father. He's probably not going to even remember who his father is," said Gerald of Chism’s young son.
Family says they will keep his memory alive for his son and for his community.
"Matt, we love you. You will never be forgotten," Gerald said.
The passenger was 28 years old. His name has not been released. Police have arrested the driver.