Injured Adams Co. Sheriff's deputy earns award - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Injured Adams Co. Sheriff's deputy earns award


An Adams County Sheriff's deputy, shot while on duty, is back on the job. The deputy received a special award for what he calls a life-changing moment.

Life is a little different for Adams County Sheriff's Deputy Todd Johnson.

"It changes a person, this does, gives you a whole different perspective on life and what you should be doing," said Todd Johnson.

He was shot in the lower abdomen in February while responding to a call at a rural cabin in Big Flats. The call was connected to a domestic dispute that started in West Allis.

"All I remember, is, the female inside the house, towards myself and Officer Swidarski and the gentleman who shot at me, took two shots at her and then shot at me and I immediately fell to the ground," said Johnson.

Johnson said he remembers feeling numb.

"It wasn't painful, I couldn't move my legs," said Johnson.

Adams County Sheriff's officials said the man who shot Johnson took his own life at the scene.

After six months of recovery, Johnson returned to duty and a surprise last month. He received a Purple Heart for law enforcement officers.

"It's four or five inches long and I got a really nice plaque with it, actually two nice plaques with it, the letter from the sheriff framed," said Johnson.

But with the award comes vivid memories.

Johnson said he never dreamed he'd face such a challenge. He also endured personal battles during recovery.

"It was hard not being able to walk, do stuff you want to do, being pushed around in a wheelchair, you feel, you feel helpless," said Johnson.

But now, he said he's stronger and getting back to what he loves to do.

"The feelings are going away, the domestics are getting easier to handle," said Johnson.

A life-changing moment, he said has made him a better person and officer.

Johnson said he is back on full duty and appreciates all the support he's gotten.

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