MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries agent Tyler Wheeler, who was shot multiple times on the line of duty in early January, it returning home on Saturday for the first time since the incident.
Wheeler was shot while making a routine traffic stop in Morehouse Parish. The suspect accused of the shooting is Amethyst Baird, alongside her accomplice, Jeremy Gullette.
"To say that he didn't deserve it is a very obvious understatement," said Gov. John Bel Edwards just days after Wheeler's shooting.
The governor expressed his condolences for Wheeler's family, as well as thanks for the law enforcement investigating the case, all while Wheeler fought for his life in a Shreveport hospital.
"We will push this case as hard as we can. we will seek the max for both of them," said District 4 Attorney, Steve Tew, against the suspects.
Tew promised, if convicted, Baird and Gullette would not get off easy. Just five days after Wheeler's shooting, the pair were denied bond pending trial in Morehouse Parish court.
The same day, The End Zone Bar in Sterlington, where Wheeler' sister Hayley works, held a fundraiser for her brother.
"They're losing their money to help my family, and that's just a really big thing to have the love and support from your own workplace," said Hayley.
The End Zone's owners weren't the only ones to show support for Wheeler.
"I've cried at least four times today, because I've had calls left and right with people saying, 'We're gonna do this for your brother', 'We're praying for you', 'We heard about your brother, and we're so sorry'. It's really just a big deal people care that much," Hayley said.
From #TylerTough t-shirts sold by the thousands, to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agents Association opening a donations bank account for Wheeler's family, support for Tyler came from every direction.
Wheeler's sister said the outpouring of support left her in awe.
"I would go with miracle," said Hayler. "This has made our family stronger, it's made him stronger. It's just a blessing."
Wheeler's dad, Darren, also called him a miracle. He has been posting about his son's progress daily on Facebook, continuously thanking the community for the prayers and support.
The sentiment was echoed to KNOE by Tyler himself. In a Facebook message, Tyler says, "I just want to thank everyone for their continued prayers. I have been blessed throughout this whole incident. I have been given another chance on this earth to spread my testimony and I pray that it will have the ability to save another officers life. God Bless."