OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Nearly two months after a shooting that killed his fellow law enforcement officer, we’re hearing from an Oklahoma County sheriff’s deputy who was injured in the line of duty.
It happened in late August when Deputy Bobby Swartz and Deputy Mark Johns were serving eviction papers in southwest Oklahoma City.
Officials say the suspect, Benjamin Plank, fired shots at the two before leading authorities to give chase.
Sgt. Swartz died from his injuries.
Jones was injured – but survived – telling his story today.
As you can imagine, it’s been a very difficult road to recovery for Deputy Johns – scarred both physically and emotionally.
“It was tough,” Deputy Johns said. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life
Jones – speaking on the day his life changed forever.
“Being a police officer, you know there’s a possibility you could get shot,” he said. “You just never know when evil will pop up – and it did today.”
Johns was shot twice in the groin.
He fell to the ground – injuring his right shoulder so badly – he had to get it back into place so he could use his weapon if necessary.
“Thankfully, he decided the battle was over for him and he wanted to leave,” Johns recalled.
Johns was rushed to the hospital.
His femoral artery was hit.
Doctors managed to temporarily stop the bleeding – but he knew his life was in danger.
“I prayed to God,” Jones said. “God is my father and I just prayed to God not to let me die.”
Johns’ long days in the hospital did not mark the end of the pain in his body – and in his heart.
Deputy – still trying to deal with the fact that he is a sergeant. Swartz did not survive that terrible day.
“Bobby was one of my best friends for 25 years,” Johns said. “Going through life, you have maybe a few real friends, what you’d call a true friend, a friend who would do anything in the world for you no matter what – just shy of being illegal. Bobby was one of them.”
Johns plans to honor Swartz the only way he knows how — by returning to work when he can.
“Bobby would tell me, hey, smoke and get back in the saddle,” Johns said. “So that’s what I do.”
Johns says he’s incredibly grateful for the support he’s received from across the country – and at home – from his loving wife.
“She’s been with me for 25 years and Melissa Johns is my hero,” he said.
The suspect in the case – Benjamin Plank – has been arrested on numerous charges, including first degree murder and shooting with intent to kill.