La Grange, TX – A Texas sheriff’s deputy shot in the face with a shotgun while serving a warrant on a sex offender is a 32-year-old single father of three daughters and could lose both his eyes.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy Calvin “CJ” Lehmann is listed in critical condition and KEYE is reporting that Deputy Lehmann lost his left eye and may lose his right eye.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Lieutenant David Beyer said that Deputy Lehmann has shown signs of improvement and was able to talk on Friday.
“They pulled the tubes out for him, and he was able to communicate. At that point, he told me, ‘Hey lieutenant, I’m doing good.’ I said, ‘Alright, CJ.’ And he said, ‘I’m coming back,’ and I said, ‘That sounds great.’ And then he told everybody don’t mess with his truck he’s coming back to get it," Lt. Beyer said, according to KEYE.
Deputy Lehmann was shot Thursday while serving a warrant at the Carter Motel, according to KEYE.
Two deputies were serving a felony warrant at a local store to a man for failing to register as a sex offender. The suspect pulled out a knife and cut one of the deputies and then ran into a nearby hotel and barricaded himself, according to KEYE.
Jimmy Mash was a witness to the incident that happened at the Dollar Store. Mash said the police officers walked in and knew who they were looking for and called his name. The suspect said, “No!” and then pushed one police officer and pulled a knife out and charged at the deputies, according to Mash.
Police fired a Taser at the suspect but it was not effective and the man was able to get to the hotel in which he was staying.
Deputy Lehmann volunteered to take the lead in the breach of the hotel room door because he was wearing a ballistic vest, police said. That’s when he was shot in the face with a shotgun.
After an extended firefight that included SWAT and the Texas Rangers, police were able to get the suspect in custody.
The suspect’s name has not been released.
“Everybody has heavy hearts right now. It hit close to home," said Lt. Beyer, according to WOAI.
On Saturday, many people gathered at the Fayette County Fairgrounds to pray for Deputy Lehmann, according to KVUE.
“It really just touches my heart that all these people are able to come out and give support for CJ, his family, his kiddos and really just our first responders in our entire community," said Katie Gross, who was one of the organizers of the event, according to KVUE.
"We're a very close-knit community. And that they support us law enforcement and first responders, ya know-- they got our backs," Fayette County Sheriff's Deputy Darrell Maze said, according to KVUE.
Lesley Karonika, another event organizer said that the community wants to make sure that he first responders are safe.
"Most importantly it's for the people who have this job every day that serve the public that put their lives in danger," Karonika told KVUE.
People who would like to donate money to Deputy Lehmann can mark donations for "CJ" and send them to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, C/O FCSMBS, at 1646 N. Jefferson St, La Grange, TX 78945.