LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Sheriff's Deputy who was shot twice during a traffic stop says he begged doctors not to let him die.
Deputy James Hunt and a training officer from Georgia were shot after they pulled an interstate 95 speeder over two weeks ago. Despite get hitting in the chest twice, Hunt hopes to eventually patrol the streets again.
"That night I thought I would never see my home again, and just to be here, to see my home and sit in my living room is amazing," Hunt said.
Hunt and Officer Robby Bishop followed 17-year-old Alford Odom on a two-mile high speed chase. They pulled him over around 9 p.m. just south of Lumberton at Exit 10.
"When I saw this guy speeding, never in a million years would I have thought that it would have escalated to that," Hunt said. "All I thought I had was a speeder."
Hunt was shot as he tried to pull the suspect out of the stolen Camaro he was driving.
"The first one was like one-half an inch from my heart, and the second one was one-half an inch from that one," Hunt said. "The second time he shot me, that's when I knew I was in some serious pain. I was burning on the inside."
Hunt begged fellow officers for help as they rushed him to the hospital.
"I was basically telling them, 'Hey fellas, don't let me die. I'm not ready to die,'" he said.
Hunt says that he is not angry with the 17-year-old who shot him.
"He's probably as glad that I'm alive as I am," he said. "Because no one wants to be looking at a murder charge."
Other officers who arrived at the scene after the shooting chased Odom into the woods. Police say Odom continued firing his weapon. The lawmen returned fire. Bloodhounds helped officials find the suspect lying in a ditch, shot three times in the leg.
Odom was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
One bullet remains in Hunt's body. He says it serves as a reminder of how quickly life can end.
Doctors say it will take Hunt six to eight months to recover.