Desoto County deputy returns to work after shooting

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. -- It was a welcomed sight for many as Sgt. Hunter Garrett made his way inside the Desoto County Sheriff's Office bright and early Monday morning.

It's his first day back on the job since a shootout near a busy shopping center with a dangerous, wanted felon two weeks ago.

"Has this situation sank in fully?"

"No."

Although he`s itching to be back out on the streets, Garrett is on light duty for now-- helping with paperwork around the Sheriff`s Office, while his foot heals from a bullet wound.

"I`m doing well. I`m getting around. Hobbling around on my crutch. Other than that a little pain in my foot but other than that I`m OK," he told WREG's Shay Arthur.

As he`s recovered he`s appreciated the love and support, often from strangers.

"It`s really been amazing the community and everyone reaching out, especially the letters. I read them all."

Garrett and K9 Deputy Brandon Lee Hutchens helped keep shoppers out of the line of fire after the Sheriff`s Department said a wanted gunman held up three people and was about to strike again at a Kroger off Stateline Road in Southaven on January 25.

"In that moment did you know how dangerous the situation was?"

"Yes and No. Every situation you go into has some sort of risk."

Many are hailing Sgt. Garrett as hero but that`s a title he`s too humble to assume.

"I don`t feel like I`m a hero. I really don`t. I just feel like I did the job I was supposed to do at the time that I did it."

It`s a job Garrett loves and he`s been outspoken about it.

In a video posted to social media last summer, Garrett talked about the important role he has in the community. Once his foot is healed it`s a role he said he can`t wait to get back out on the streets and continue.

"I like having the chance to help people. I like the opportunity to put a bad guy in jail, a seriously bad guy, but at the same time it`s about helping people and that`s what I like to do."

It's unclear when Sgt. Garrett will return to full duty.

As for Deputy Hutchens, he was released from the Intensive Care Unit last week.

Investigators identified the man who shot them as 54-year-old Kevin Washington. The deputies returned fire killing him.