A South Carolina sheriff’s deputy is alive today after he survived a gunshot wound to the head last week that his law enforcement brothers believed should have killed him.
But after a miracle brought on by what his boss called “intervening prayer,” the young officer survived and is recovering in a hospital.
Last Thursday afternoon, 27-year-old Cpl. Lucas Watts was gravely wounded in eastern South Carolina during a traffic stop with a man who was heavily armed.
The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who has been with the department for two years, was allegedly shot in the head by a man police have identified as 50-year-old Gregory Maxwell.
Watts, according to his boss Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, was badly wounded.
“I’m not talking about a grazing wound to the head, I’m talking about a bullet to his brain,” Crenshaw recalled, according to WYFF-TV.
The outlet reported Crenshaw was so moved by the events that took place in the moments and hours after Watts was shot, he attended a church service in the county in the community of Westminster.
As he addressed the congregation of First Baptist Westminster, Crenshaw explained that the area where Watts was wounded was so remote that it would have taken an ambulance up to 45 minutes just to arrive.
He also said the young deputy would not have survived a life flight. Watts was loaded up into the back of a pickup truck and taken to an area fire station.
From there, the 27-year-old was taken to a hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, by ambulance.
The sheriff arrived at the hospital after local law enforcement officers, including Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis, who told him before he arrived that Watts’ injuries were “not survivable.”
Crenshaw made his way to the hospital anyway where he covered Watts’ wife Haley, who demanded to see her husband.
“They carry the wife in,” Crenshaw told the church. “She touches him and he starts moving. A tear rolls down his face. The doctor says ‘Let’s go, get him into surgery, right now, immediately get him into surgery. Go Go Go.’”
Crenshaw said Watts survived a “very risky” surgery and by the next day was not only moving his extremities but also responding to verbal commands.
Watts is still in critical condition but Crenshaw told the church he witnessed a miracle.
“God performed a miracle Thursday night in Greenville, South Carolina.”
“I don’t know why. I don’t know why we are in this,” the sheriff said. “But folks I am here to tell you from the time he got shot to the time his wife touched him had to be 2.5 to 3 hours. I saw a dead man come back to life. Not because of Mike Crenshaw. Because of God and because of intervening prayer I truly believe.”
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I’m telling you God performed a miracle Thursday night in Greenville, South Carolina,” he added while speaking to members of the church. “I’ve got no doubt in my mind. He made that clear to me.”
Crenshaw is asking for continued prayers for Watts.
Maxwell is charged with five counts of attempted murder.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.