Two Desoto County, Tennessee Sheriff's deputies say that they are blessed to be alive after a man who went on a crime spree opened fire on them last year.
Sgt. Hunter Garrett and Deputy Lee Hutchen were looking for 54-year-old Darnell Washington on Jan. 25, 2017 when they spotted the stolen car that he'd been driving in the parking lot of a Kroger in Southhaven, according to WREG-TV.
"I was at K-9 training off Highway 51 when calls started coming out about the armed robberies," Deputy Hutchen told the news station.
Once in the parking lot, deputies commanded the suspect to exit the vehicle, but he refused. When Washington finally exited the car, he started running towards the back of the grocery store.
"As I was pulling in the parking lot, that's when I saw the individual running away from the officers. I chased him around the building," Hutchen said.
Hutchen was shot right above his bullet proof vest and Sgt. Garrett was shot in the foot. Washington was killed in the shootout with the deputies.
Both deputies were transported to Regional Medical Center for treatment of their wounds.
"I called my wife, and I wanted her to hear it from me at least," Garrett said. "I said, 'I'm OK, but I've been shot."
Hutchen was unconscious and fighting for his life when deputies told his fiance.
"She burst into tears. She tried to run out of the house without any shoes on, no jacket or anything," Hutchen said.
Hutchen's future was uncertain, but he was able to pull.
"The doctors at the med, I've always heard they work miracles up there. If you can get there alive, they can keep you alive, " he said. "I believe God still left me here for a reason. I still have a job to do. If I take care of the people in Desoto County, that that's what I'm going to do."
Both Hutchen and Garrett are now fully recovered and have since returned to work at the Desoto County Sheriff's Department.