SEATTLE - A week after being shot in the line of duty, Officer Benito Chavez is heading home, and he says it's thanks to the heroic sacrifice made by fallen Kittitas County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Thompson.
Sitting in a bed in a Seattle hospital room, Officer Benito Chavez with the City of Kittitas Police Department is dealing with a lot of pain, both physically and emotionally.
Tuesday night, Chavez was involved in a shooting.
Officials say following a police chase, 29-year-old Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro started shooting. Chavez was hit in the leg; his femur was shattered. His femur has been replaced with titanium, he says.
He has been stuck in bed since Tuesday night, but he is surrounded by support. His wife, Monica, sits by his side, and there are flowers and letters on a table next to him.
"I'd say I'm lucky to be alive," said Chavez.
Another law enforcement member was also hit in the shooting.
Kittitas County Sheriff Deputy, 42-year-old Ryan Thompson, was shot and killed.
Thompson was married and the father of three children.
"Ryan Thompson, he saved our lives. No doubt in my mind," said Chavez.
Chavez says his leg is still severely damaged; he says he'll have to learn to walk again. When he is able to walk, Chavez says he knows what he'll be doing: returning to the force.
"I just want to honor him. What would he want me to do. Don't get me wrong I want to get back out there and do the job because I love it, but I also want to get back out there and do the job because of him," said Chavez.
Chavez says he owes Thompson his life, but it's more than just Chavez's life.
In a few weeks, the Chavez family are expecting their first child, a baby girl they plan to name Oakley.
And because of Deputy Thompson's ultimate sacrifice that little girl will have a father.
"What he did that night was incredible," said Chavez.
The Ellensburg Police Department is investigating the incident. Because of this Chavez cannot speak to any specifics of the shooting.
If you would like to assist the Chavez family or the Thompson family, you can make a donation to any US Bank using these accounts:
Thompson Memorial Fund.
Thompson Family Fund.
Chavez Family Fund.