HOUSTON - An officer shot in the line of duty hopes his story will send a message, as his shooter heads to prison.
Houston Police Officer Jason Rhodes joined the Marines after September 11, 2001. It wasn't until then he thought about becoming an officer and after his injury last year, he was determined to get back on the street.
"It's somewhere on the back of my elbow," said Rhodes, of part of a bullet still lodged in his arm.
Rhodes was shot in January of 2016 while stopping a robbery at a Family Dollar store near 59 and West Little York on the northeast side.
Last week, a judge sentenced the shooter, Shelton Hearld, to 30 years in prison.
"I feel that justice has been served and hopefully I'll serve as an example for other people not to shoot at police officers," said Rhodes.
"I certainly want to highlight the bravery of Officer Rhodes," said Charles McClelland, who was Chief of Police at the time.
"I was just doing my job, I know there are hundreds of other officers that would have done the same thing," said Rhodes.
The department recognized Rhodes for his service and standing next to him, his dad, who also happens to be a sergeant in HPD's homicide division.
"You can't dwell on what's going to happen tomorrow, you get excellent training here, you get the best equipment...you just try to do your best every day," said Sgt. James Rhodes.
However, most impressed was Rhodes' son.
"He knew I was a police officer, but he didn't really understand what it was until after I got shot and we brought him up to the police station, let him sit in a patrol car. He was ecstatic," said Rhodes.
This dad hopes a life lesson comes with it. One his actions showed that day, when he stepped in to protect strangers with just a gun and a badge.
"Just to try to do what's right in life, I don't want to push him one way or another to be a police officer, just a good man," said Rhodes.
Rhodes' wife was pregnant when he got shot. They now have two sons, ages 4 and 1. They're all thankful dad made a full recovery.
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