Deputy receives new life-saving vest after near-death encounter

Deputy receives new life-saving vest after near-death encounter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - He took a shotgun blast to the chest, and lived to tell about it, and now, an East Texas Sheriff's Deputy is getting some better protection.

Back in March, Smith County Deputy Josh Caulkins was shot while serving a warrant on a drug suspect.

Thankfully, he was wearing a bullet proof vest.

On Tuesday, KLTV 7's Ian Smith met with the grateful deputy as he got some new

Protection for the next time he has to rush into harm's way.

Smith County Deputy Josh Caulkins was presented with his new bullet resistant vest.

Back in March, he was serving a felony warrant at an apartment complex in South Tyler.

Fortunately, Deputy Caulkins was prepared for the worst. A little piece of armor stopped the shotgun blast in its tracks.

Greg Thurmon supplies peace officers all across East Texas with bullet-resistant vests. Thurmon says, "A lot of technology goes into ballistic materials and the ability to stop a round."

Deputy Caulkins escaped death with only bruises, something officials say could have been much different.

"I pretty much owe my life to the vest," Caulkins expressed.

"After I'd been shot, I continued to do what I had to do until the suspect was in custody," recalled Caulkins.

Chief Deputy Garmon says every deputy on his team wears a vest whenever on duty. Because you never know when it could save your life.

The man accused of shooting Deputy Caulkins, Christopher Summerville, is in the Smith County Jail, charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer and engaging in organized criminal activity.

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