By Lyn Riddle
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Deputy Lucas Watts was all but dead when he arrived at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital last Thursday afternoon.
Doctors had no hope. He had been shot in the head.
Then Watts’ wife Haley came into his room and touched him. He moved. A tear rolled down his cheek.
He was rushed into surgery and survived.
That was the story Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw told parishioners of First Baptist Church Westminster Sunday.
Crenshaw had only one explanation.
Greenville television station WYFF was there and has a video of Crewshaw’s talk on its website.
Crenshaw said God told him to go before the church and tell Watts’ story.
Watts was shot during a traffic stop. The suspect fled but was later found and shot by deputies. Gregory Wayne Maxwell, 50, was charged with five counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
On Monday, Maxwell was in custody at the hospital after sustaining at least one gunshot wound.
Crenshaw told church members officers loaded Watts into the back of a pickup and drove him to a fire station. He was too injured to go by helicopter to Greenville so he was transported by ambulance. Paramedics worked to stabilize him along the way.
Crenshaw stayed at the scene, and Greenville Sheriff Hobart Lewis at the hospital called him with the news Watts wasn’t going to make it.
Watts had a bullet in his brain, Crenshaw said pointing to his forehead.
“Sheriffs all across the state are texting,” Crenshaw said, with one message. “Praying, praying, praying.”
A lieutenant called Crenshaw and said he was needed at the hospital.
The surgery was risky.
But Watts came through.
He made it through the night. He began to respond to verbal commands.
“Nurses are talking to him,” Crewshaw said. “He’s starting to move arms and legs.”
Before sunrise on Friday, Crenshaw said he couldn’t sleep. He went into his dark living room and heard God say He sent Crenshaw to the hospital.
He wanted Crenshaw to witness the miracle He had in store for Watts.
“Go and tell others,” Crenshaw said he heard God say.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Crenshaw said. “Lucas is still very critical.”
It was probably 2 and a half to 3 hours before Watts showed signs of life.
But Crenshaw is convinced of one thing.
“I saw a dead man come back to life Thursday night,” Crenshaw said. “Because of God and intervening prayer, I truly believe.”