South Florida Officer Shares His Experience In Wake Of Tucson Tragedy

SOUTH FLORIDA - A former Broward County Sheriff's deputy, who was shot in the head in the line of duty, spoke with Local 10 about recovering from an injury of that type.

Former Sgt. Maury Hernandez was shot in the back of the head in August of 2007 by a suspect he confronted for speeding on Pembroke Road in Hollywood. The suspect, David Maldonado, was sentenced in October of 2008.

Hernandez told Local 10's Ross Palombo that three and a half years after the shooting, he stills bears the physical and mental scares, and that seeing the shooting that injured Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Saturday brought his memories back.

"Very, very similar," said Fernandez. "Everything I have goes out to her family."

Memorial Regional Hospital Trauma Director Dr. Eddy Carrillo said Hernandez, and Giffords, initially survived because of quick treatment, but Hernandez continued to survive after 19 days in a coma because of his will power.

"He clearly showed from the time he arrived that he was a fighter," said Carrillo.

Hernandez believes his will allows him to walk without a cane.

He said Giffords can make it to where he is now, and that he wants to be there when she does.

Hernandez told Local 10's Ross Palombo that he'll tell her that, "she made it, she never gave up, and she went against science."

Hernandez has since retired from the Broward Sheriff's Office. He hopes he can get his job back when he's completely healthy.

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