MONROE, LA (WVUE) - A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent, who was shot five times while questioning a motorist, is talking and walking with assistance and may be out of the hospital this week.
Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, of Monroe, is scheduled to be discharged from the LSU Health Shreveport Trauma Center Jan. 26, and will be transported to a rehab facility in Mississippi, according to his father Darren Wheeler.
"His spirits are high," Wheeler said. "This is amazing."
The elder Wheeler said his son has been able to walk with the help of a walker and sometimes with the aid of a medical assistant "to keep him steady." He is talking and "fussing about staying in here (at the hospital)."
Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, said he and his department are elated by Wheeler's improvement.
"His Wildlife and Fisheries family is very encouraged by Tyler's progress to date," Broussard said. "Everything we've been told is that it is a miracle that he survived this cowardly attack and that the doctors are very hopeful he can make a full recovery."
Wheeler's rehab will focus on strength recovery and regaining the ability to eat a normal diet. The doctors have been pleased with his motor skills, memory and overall condition, Darren Wheeler said.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said Wheeler's progress "is a true testament to this young man's amazing will to live. And, it also shows the courage of our law enforcement officers who bravely face dangerous situations every day."
Wheeler was shot five times, including once in the temple, jaw, shoulder, arm and back on Jan. 7 on Hwy. 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in the Perryville area. Wheeler was wearing his department issued body armor vest at the time of the shooting.
Louisiana State Police Detectives arrested 31-year-old Amethyst Baird of Monroe on one count of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. They also arrested 34-year-old Jeremy Gullette, of Monroe, on one count of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder.