Wounded AZ deputy meets good Samaritan who helped save him - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Wounded AZ deputy meets good Samaritan who helped save him

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Deputy Ruben Garcia and Andrew Phelps Deputy Ruben Garcia and Andrew Phelps
Deputy Ruben Garcia Deputy Ruben Garcia
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Maricopa County deputy wounded in the line of duty spoke publicly for the first time since being shot in the face.

Deputy Ruben Garcia held the news conference on Friday with the good Samaritan who helped save his life.

When he was wounded, Garcia thought he was pulling over a man who wanted to do harm to himself. But Donald Miller instead shot Garcia in the face, fled the scene and was later killed in a shootout with police.

After nearly three months of recovery, Garcia officially met Andrew Phelps, a man who lives near where the deputy was shot and who helped save his life by giving him constant chest compressions until medics could arrive.

"I ran to my front door and I looked out and I saw there was a man on the ground," Phelps said.

"I never thought I was going to die," Garcia said.

"My vision on my left eye is distorted. I still have to take pain medication for my jaw. This was reconstructed and the doctor's and the medical staff were excellent," Garcia said.

Phelps told Garcia a few months ago that he found out his wife was pregnant one week to the hour after the deputy was shot. He credits Garcia with his family's good fortune.

Garcia will still need more surgeries to fix his shattered jaw, but he said the outpouring of support from the public has been overwhelming and he wants to return to the streets as soon as possible.

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