Lee Co. deputy and Iraq/Afghanistan veteran continues recovery after shooting

Southeast Region

OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy who has spent his adult life in uniform serving his country and his community, continues his recovery after being shot multiple times during an October 20, 2021 traffic stop in Beauregard, Ala.

33-year-old deputy Tyron Ponds, his wife, and their three children are taking the healing process one day at a time. The family feels fortunate to have community support, including homemade meals, neighbors replacing front porch lights with blue bulbs, and other kind gestures letting the family know they are loved and respected. BackTheBadge Lee County has organized a meal train for Deputy Ponds and a way for the community to donate meal cards to provide lunch or dinner, as they continue to heal. You can click HERE to donate.

“It’s been fantastic; the support is overwhelming. I didn’t know Lee County as a community was this close, but now I do. I am so glad me and my wife chose to be a part of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office,” said Deputy Ponds.

Ponds grew up in Camp Hill, Ala. He graduated from Reeltown High School. Upon graduation, he spent 15 years in the military, completing four deployments, three in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, while pursuing a degree in criminal justice. Deputy Ponds is medically retired and dreamed of pursuing a career in law enforcement. The career shift would allow him to continue his passion for helping and protecting others, while spending more time with his family at home, after living a military lifestyle for most of their marriage.

Deputy Ponds had been with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for seven months when investigators say a motorcyclist Ponds pulled over for a missing tag, fired at him. Deputy Ponds was struck three times but was able to return fire striking the suspect.

“I am doing okay. I ended up sustaining three gunshots—one to the left hand, one to the right hand, and one to the right arm. I have had two surgeries so far. I go back Friday to see what’s next with surgeries,” said Deputy Ponds.

Deputy Ponds hopes to return to his career in law enforcement as soon as possible, with support from his wife and three children.

“She has been with me every step of the way, we have been married 14 years, and I hope we are together 14 more. My son took it the hardest, but with all the help from the community and school staff, he is doing fantastic now; the other two are as well. I have been a public servant my whole life, and I am going to continue to serve my community here in Lee County,” said Deputy Ponds.

If you’d like to share a gift or a ‘get well’ card with the family, please get in touch with Lee County, Sheriff Jay Jones.

*The suspected shooter, 42-year old John Cross, is facing Attempted Murder. A Lee County Judge ordered Cross be held without bond until his trial at the request of the Lee County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors say Cross has an “astonishing” criminal record is an “extreme danger” to the community.

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