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McCreary County Sheriff's Deputy now recovering at home after being shot while on-duty

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 06:18:00-04

MCCREARY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A McCreary County Sheriff's deputy is now home recovering after he was shot while on the job earlier this month.

Despite his injury, Deputy Tyler Watkins plans to serve his community again.

“Everybody always asks you what do you want to do when you grow up, I always wanted to be cop,” said Watkins.

His lifelong dream was achieved on July 1, when he officially became a McCreary County Sheriff's deputy. But just weeks later, on July 16, Watkins was shot.

According to investigators, Watkins was shot by Mark Dungan, 48, while performing a welness check. Watkins was shot once in his protective vest and then in his lower abdomen.

“In my head I'm thinking, 'Oh lord I'm dying.' And I was just thinking please don't let me die right here, you know, just hang on, I kept telling myself just hang on there will be help,” said Watkins.

Watkins was treated at the hospital for six days. He's home now with a long road to recovery ahead, yet he’s still finding the positives.

“I’m blessed that I'm still here, I'm still talking, I’m walking,” said Watkins.

“I fought so hard all my life to be a cop and it's going to take more than just a 45 bullet to stop me,” said Watkins.

He intends to return to the sheriff's office as soon as he recovers.

Watkins also wanted to thank his friends, family and the community for all of the support through this difficult time.