Lee County sheriff’s deputy injured in shooting returns to work

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 11:55 AM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - In East Alabama, a Lee County sheriff’s deputy shot last year is back on the job.

In an exclusive interview with News Leader 9, Tyron Ponds discusses his nine-month journey to recovery.

Deputy Ponds was shot in both hands and struggled to open one of them. However, now that he’s recovered, Deputy Ponds is thankful for the opportunity to serve the Lee County community again.

It’s been nine months since Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyron Ponds has been in uniform.

“I feel great. I’ve been alone now my, my family and I look forward to me getting back out there, doing what I love to do,” said Deputy Ponds.

Last year in October, Deputy Ponds was shot multiple times after pulling over a motorcycle driver in Beauregard. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says the driver who was eventually arrested and charged with attempted murder is 42-year-old John Cross.

“He got some of the ring finger, and it’s going to be kicked out to the side for forever,” said Deputy Ponds.

The deputy underwent two surgeries after being shot in both hands and his right arm, even losing the tip of one of his pinky fingers.

“However, I was still unable to have 100% functionality in my right hand, and therefore we scheduled another surgery on the 20th of April of this year. We did a tendon transfer. So that set me back a little while as well went through rehab again,” said Deputy Ponds.

Officials say Deputy Ponds was not wearing a body camera at the time. Currently, only Lee County correctional officers and school resource officers wear them. The only cameras Lee County deputies use are dash cams. But, Sheriff Jones says his office is in the process of getting body cameras for his patrol division.

“We do need them because someone got hurt around here,” said Opelika resident Cheryl Jones.

The number of officer-involved shootings for Alabama was unavailable, but the Georgia Bureau of Investigations reports 70 so far this year. Deputy Ponds is thankful to be still alive and encourages others in law enforcement to always be prepared.

“Just be ready at all times, keep your head on the swivel, understand the danger that surrounds you and, and be ready, be prepared,” said Deputy Ponds.

John Cross remains in custody in the Russell County Jail. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is in the bidding process for those body cameras.

News Leader 9 will keep you all posted when they receive them.

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