Armed policeman Darrin Pavelka was just a reaction away from shooting the alleged home invader he had his hand gun aimed on early yesterday.
Constable Pavelka, Senior Constable Lyal Bayliss and police dog Brock apprehended labourer James Carpenter, 30, on a Redwood property, about 300m away from where he and another man had allegedly broken their way into a home of a mother of two Sarah Walker.
Brock had tracked an allegedly armed Carpenter and latched onto his leg at a Fenchurch St property.
"We jumped over the fence and saw the offender behind a hedge with a loaded single barrel shotgun pointing straight at us,'' he said.
Brock was released and clung to Carpenter's leg.
"I pointed my gun at him the whole time while Lyal bought him down to the ground. It happened so fast, could've been a matter of seconds.
"My finger was on the trigger the whole time.
"If it meant I had to pull the trigger, I would've to save mine and my partner's life.''
The loaded shotgun became pinned underneath Carpenter when Senior Constable Bayliss wrestled him to the ground.
Carpenter refused to let go of the shotgun as Senior Constable Bayliss continued to grapple with him.
An opportunity arose for Constable Pavelka to grab one of Carpenter's arms and pin it behind his back to handcuff him.
The trio continued to struggle until the police officers pulled his right arm back and secured Carpenter with handcuffs.
Constable Pavelka who has been in the police for two years said he had never been in a situation where a gun was pointed at him.
"I wasn't scared, it was just the adrenalin, which is still pumping. It wasn't until afterwards you think about the what ifs. I was just doing my job.
"Brock was brilliant. If it wasn't for him giving us that small chance to subdue the offender then it could've been a different ending.
"My partner was really concerned, as they do. They worry. But when you put on the uniform it comes with the job. I'm just glad we went home safe and caught a baddie.''
Senior Constable Bayliss said it was a team effort.
``Darrin was the cover man. He was in the worst position of all. He was the one to make that fatal decision whether the offender was going to live or die. He had the gun. The focus is on the dog helping us to relinquish the weapon.
"We just had to find this guy and get him off the street. The potential for him to have got away was there. I didn't particularly want to get shot today. I was wound up and angry. I had been in the job 14 years and it was the first time that I was in a position like that. We got the best possible outcome,'' he said.
Senior Constable Bayliss said he'd promised Brock an ice cream for his efforts.