HUGO, Colo. — What started as a 911 call regarding atheft at a semi-truck pull-off near Limon almost ended with the life of Deputy Michael Hutton being taken.
"I was making peace with the fact that this is where I am going to die," said Hutton.
Seven years ago, Deputy Hutton joined the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after serving in the Air Force. But nothing could have prepared him for the events that took place the morning of May 20.
"I look back on it and there’s not too much I could have changed or done different," said Hutton.
When Deputy Hutton arrived to the pull-off, he had about 30 seconds to speak with the man who called to report his truck was broken into and another one was being burglarized.
"I’m scanning the area, checking for any abnormal figures or shapes," said Hutton.
But as he approached the open doors of the semi in front of him, he sensed something.
"I see a shadowy figure just lean out a little bit towards his left and I knew I had milliseconds to react, not much time. But I knew I was about to get shot. When that first shot rang out it put me down, completely down to the ground. I knew that I had to get up as quick as possible because more shots were ringing near me very close" said Hutton.
Deputy Hutton was shot three times — in his thumb, forearm, and underneath his armpit, causing his lung to collapse.
"It just felt like a tunnel vision, if you will, was enveloping in and that was signaling what I thought was to be the end," said Hutton.
It took 21 minutes for help to arrive.
Lying on the side of the road alone, Deputy Hutton thought of his wife.
"I didn’t have my cell phone on me but I probably would have called my wife. And I thought about doing that while I was laying there in the ditch," said Hutton.
Hutton was eventually flown to a Denver hospital. He had survived. Months later, he’s back doing the job he loves and recovering from his injuries.
"The dark hours, they come. And that is our business sometimes. But that is also what we do, that is why we are here is to protect others and be that light in the dark," said Hutton.
His goal is to be back out in the community — serving and protecting.