Man says he owes his life to fallen hero DPD Capt. Steil

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Matthew Chambliss, left, DPD Capt. Ken Steil

Capt. Ken Steil was described by everyone who knew him as someone who frequently went above and beyond the call of duty.

FOX 2: "What do you call him?"

"A superhero," said Matthew Chambliss.

Although smiling at that title, Wayne State University student Matthew Chambliss says that smile turned to tears learning his superhero, 46-year-old Ken Steil had passed away.

The fallen Detroit police sergeant promoted to captain Friday had been shot in the line of duty last week at the same gas station near Seven Mile and Hayes where Chambliss says Steil swooped in to help him.

"This man saved my life, he did," Chambliss said.

He said at around 3 a.m. two years ago he was taking a break from studying  and stopped at the Sunoco to grab a drink.

"Upon coming outside there were eight men standing by my truck," Chambliss said. "And one of the men said 'Do you have the Glock.' I said oh my God, I look to the sky to pray to God and I said he's probably asleep.

"I looked across the street and I saw a black image. I wasn't sure what it was, it was a car, a police car and it turned to the right. I said I hope to God that he's looking in his rearview mirror."

Chambliss says all of a sudden, the Detroit police car turned around -  with the headlights turned off - and quickly pulled into the gas station.

"Six of the men ran, two of the other men stood there like a deer in headlights," Chambliss said. "The man who emerged from the car first was Sgt. Steil."

Chambliss says Steil got out as the car was still moving, making two arrests and quickly calmed the situation.

"I'd probably be dead - just that quick," he said.

Looking back now he says he is certain Capt. Steil saved his life. Although it was likely just another day at work for him, he wonders how many other lives Steil saved.

"I appreciate the Detroit Police Department," Chambliss said. "It's the things that we don't hear about they do in the dark, that people should know about."

Chambliss says thinking about that terrifying night -- he still can't believe what could have happened.

"I got home,  I sat there for like three hours like you've got to be kidding me," he said.

FOX 2: "and now?"

"He's no longer here," Chambliss said. "But I thank God that he was."