Knox Co. deputy talks to 6 News about being wounded in the line of duty

Knox Co. deputy talks to 6 News about being wounded in the line of duty

"I didn't know where the bullet was, and if it had traveled down to my stomach or what," Deputy Johnson says. "I didn't know where the bullet was, and if it had traveled down to my stomach or what," Deputy Johnson says.

February 28, 2006

By AMELIA GRAHAM
6 News Reporter

KNOX COUNTY (WATE) -- Deputy Cory Johnson says he thought he was helping someone in a broken down van. As it turns out, he couldn't have been more wrong.

One of the occupants in the van fired a shotgun at Johnson, striking him in the left shoulder.

"All of the occupants of the van were in the back of the van and I could see a male and a female. When they opened the door there was another male leaning over the female and they started talking back and forth in Spanish. Then the female was yelling 'Help!'"

Deputy Johnson says that was the turning point. "As soon as she yelled help that's when I stepped away from the door and they shot, and that's when I started returning fire."

Once the van sped away, Johnson says he feared the worst.

"I knew I had a hole in my shoulder, but I didn't know. There wasn't an exit hole and that's what scared me. I didn't know where the bullet was, and if it had traveled down to my stomach or what."

Fortunately, the bullet hit a bone in Johnson's shoulder and it was easily removed.

But Johnson says he was still feeling the pain. "My shoulder is burning a little bit. Of course I've still got medicine in me, but everything else, I mean, you just keep playing everything back in your head, what happened, what you could have done and I think that's natural."

There was one image that kept going through Johnson's mind: the faces of his family. He's the father to three. Samantha is fifteen. Ashley is twelve, and the youngest is Josh. He's nine years old.

As for how this close call will forever change the deputy, he says, "I'll think about it every time I pull up behind a vehicle again, every time I pull up behind a vehicle."

Deputy Johnson will go back to the doctor in two weeks. He may need surgery if the bullet tore his rotator cuff.

As for returning to his job at the Sheriff's Office, he says, "I'm not a person that can sit still. I'm sure there's something I can do meanwhile. It's going to be up to them (doctors) to tell and how soon I can come back."

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