Family says deputy shot in line of duty on ventilator, making ‘slow progress’

Corporal Lucas Watts, the Oconee County deputy critically injured in the line of duty last week, is making “slow progress” in the hospital.
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 10:55 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 11:35 AM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Family members said Corporal Lucas Watts, the Oconee County deputy critically injured in the line of duty last week, is making “slow progress” in the hospital.

Watts is sedated and on a ventilator according to an update Monday night on his CaringBridge page. Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw called it nothing short of a miracle that Watts is alive after he was shot in the head by a suspect on Nov. 16.

On Wednesday, Watts’ family shared another update stating that he is still showing signs of progress and that a recent test ordered by the neurovascular team came back “better than expected.” They also asked people to specifically pray that the occasional seizure activity in his brain subsides and for the rest of the family.

Watts is a new dad, having welcomed a baby with his wife less than two months ago. He underwent multiple emergency surgeries at Greenville Memorial Hospital after the shooting, where he remains in critical but stable condition.

A support fund set up for Watts and his family has raised more than $136,000.

Below is the full most recent CaringBridge update:

“‘To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything.’ -Thomas Merton

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So often this time of year, we get tied up in all the mundane details of coordinating who is bringing what foods to what dinners and discussions of whether it’s “ok” to have Christmas decorations out yet or not. We talk about being thankful but, at the same time, take so much for granted. This year is very different for us and we realize, on a whole new level, very different for many families who are going through difficult times.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 says ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ What a great reminder to all of us of the importance of being thankful despite our circumstances. No matter what is going on, God’s will for us is to see the silver linings, have a relationship with him, and have hearts of gratitude. Even when the world feels like it is falling apart, we can rejoice and give thanks for the many ways God blesses us. We have so much to be thankful for. We serve an amazing and graciously loving God.

We are thankful Lucas is alive. We are thankful that he continues to fight and show the doctors signs of progress each day. We are thankful for the deputies who didn’t hesitate and reacted to save Lucas’s life. We are thankful for the outpouring of love and support that our community has shown and continues to show to Lucas, Haley, Eli, and our families.

We are thankful for the medical team who continues to provide around-the-clock care and celebrates with us in Lucas’s victories. We are thankful that the angiogram the neurovascular team ordered yesterday came back better than expected. We are thankful the ophthalmology team is monitoring his eyes and have a plan for when the time is right. We are thankful for the technologies like EEGs that allow the doctors and nurses to know what’s going on that isn’t always visible.

And we are forever thankful for you and your prayers. Will you please continue to pray? Will you specifically pray with us

•for continued healing for Lucas and that the occasional seizure activity in his brain subsides?

•for Haley as she juggles caring for Lucas at the hospital while also being a new mama and caring for sweet 8-week-old Eli?

•for Bobby, Sherry, and Logan as they, too, walk this difficult road alongside their son and brother?

#LucasStrong #k6strong”