Not even a bullet to the gut could break the spirit of El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Stone.
The third generation law enforcement officer took an oath to serve the community, and he won't be deterred by the violence that wounded him and two other law officers Monday and killed his friend, Deputy Micah Flick, said Scott's father, Rob Stone.
"He's anxious to get healed and get back out there," Rob said Tuesday on his son's behalf. "It's in his blood."
In a single moment of worry, as Rob was teasing his son about a future career in information technology, Scott did hesitate, Rob said. "Will I be able to return to duty?" he asked his family.
Scott's wife, Aleyana, didn't hesitate. "Yes, you will go back," she reportedly told him.
How long that will take is unknown.
Scott still carries the bullet shot into his abdomen, Rob said. For now, doctors are not going to remove it, but that could change in coming weeks.
"He's in a lot of pain," the father said.
The shooting struck very close to home for the Stone family.
Rob is a retired El Paso County sheriff's sergeant; Scott's older sister is a three-year patrol deputy. And Scott's grandfather, Delmar E. Stone, was killed in the line of duty as a New Orleans police officer June 27, 1968. His motorcycle was struck by a delivery truck he was trying to stop, and he was run over, says the national Officer Down Memorial Page. The U.S. Navy veteran and seven-year policeman left behind a wife and six children, including Rob.
Rob was 7 then, and he said he remembers with heartache the day he was told of his father's death, much as Flick's 7-year-old twins are being told now.
"I can put myself in that position, knowing what those children are going through," Rob said.
The memories made Monday's dreaded phone call about his son even more emotional.
"I thought, am I going to lose my son too?" Rob recalled. Scott and Aleyana have a 2-year-old son.
The family feels for Flick's loved ones, some of whom visited Scott in the hospital Tuesday, Rob said, declining to discuss the private visit.
Rob said the Stone family wants to thank the community for its support over the past two days, as they've received encouraging and thoughtful well wishes. Domino's delivered pizza to the hospital. A local attorney sent flowers.
"It's greatly appreciated," Rob said. "We want everyone to know we're thankful."
Scott's church, Springs Lighthouse, has organized other ways for the community to help the family.
- A prayer vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church, 4777 N. Academy Blvd. The community is "welcome to join our community of faith as we pray for healing and wholeness for Scott and his family, as well as for the other officers affected in yesterday's tragic shooting," the church said on its Facebook page.
- Springs Lighthouse also will hold a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the church in Scott's honor.
- A meal train has been started to feed Scott and his family in the hospital, where Rob said he's likely to stay for at least a week. To sign up, visit mealtrain.com/trains/7nm1qm