Westfall remembers night husband injured in Clay County, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Wife of injured Roane Co. deputy remembers fateful night of shooting

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Deputy Westfall and his wife Emily Deputy Westfall and his wife Emily

Emily Westfall thinks about August 28 every single day.

"There's a surrealness about it that you don't think it's really happening," Westfall, 43, said. "You feel your heart beating, and you know it's happening but it doesn't seem real."

Emily is married to John Westfall, a Roane County, WV deputy and patrolman for the Spencer Police Department. On August 28, 2012, Emily received a call.

"I heard when John's partner, Kevin Unger, who was with him that evening, called me on the phone," Westfall said. "He told me that John was shot."

Exactly one year ago, Westfall rushed to help two state troopers who were shot near the Wallback exit on the Clay-Roane county lines.  When the suspect, Luke Baber, fled the scene, Westfall was one of the officers who pursued him. 

(BACKGROUND: Two WV State Troopers killed in Clay County, WV)

Westfall was shot three times after he discovered Baber hiding. Baber was shot and killed during the exchange.  Westfall survived the encounter.

"I knew from the moment that I was told he was injured that he was going to be okay," Emily Westfall said. "And I felt that."

Westfall was shot in the shoulder, the hand, and the abdomen.  Emily said her husband was wearing a bulletproof vest from the Spencer Police Department that evening.

"He was very adamant about wearing a vest," Emily said. "The injury he sustained in his abdomen would have really been a different story if he didn't have his vest on."

(Legislation introduced to make law enforcement safer)

Emily said Westfall is determined to heal. He's endured five surgeries since the shooting. He hopes to return to both full-time jobs. In the meantime, he's at home, helping raise his three teenage daughters.

"I think that's the best blessing we could ask for is to be together."