LaGrange, TX – A Fayette County deputy has just learned he will never see again after he was blasted in the face by a sex offender’s shotgun.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy C.J. Lehmann was shot in the face in November of 2018 while trying to arrest a sex offender at the Carter Motel in La Grange, KVII reported.
The incident began when officers attempted to serve a warrant on 49-year-old Shazizz Mateen at the Dollar Store.
Mateen was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender, according to KVII.
"Two cops walked in. They walked straight for him like they knew who they were looking for, and called his name. He said, 'No!' Pushed the one cop back, cop drew his Taser, and cop fired it," witness Jimmy Mash described the incident to KEYE.
Then the suspect pulled out a knife and charged at deputies, according to Mash.
Mateen fled and barricaded himself in his room at the Carter Motel.
Officials said Deputy Lehmann volunteered to take the lead in breaching the door at the motel because he had body armor, KVII reported.
As soon as he crossed the threshold, Deputy Lehmann was shot in the face with a shotgun.
Doctors removed his left eye immediately and worked hard to save his right eye, KVII reported.
“The remnants of this [left] eye were removed. This [right] one is severely damaged by just trauma. And it's not clear yet if I'll get vision back in it,” Deputy Lehmann told KEYE just 13 days after he was shot.
Deputy Lehmann, a single father of three little girls, is known as an optimistic person, according to KEYE.
“I like being happy. You can ask all my friends. Can't keep me down. I'm always going to be there,” he said.
The deputy, a native of Fayette County, told KEYE that he was living the dream and he trusted the sheriff’s department to take care of him.
“I love the community. I love my job. I love doing what I do," Deputy Lehmann said. “They said that no matter what I'll have a job here... doing something. I'm not ready to throw in any kind of towel just because I can't see."
Unfortunately, despite best efforts of his doctors, on Thursday the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office announced that efforts to save the right eye had failed, and the brave deputy will never see again, KEYE reported.
Mateen was arrested and is facing four counts of aggravated assault on a public servant with a deadly weapon.
Click here to make a contribution to the fund to help Deputy Lehmann and his family with medical and living expenses via PayPal.