LULING, LA (WVUE) - A St. Charles sheriff's corporal shot three times in the line of duty was relieved Wednesday after a St. Charles Parish jury found the man who shot him guilty of attempted murder.
"It wasn't until I looked down, that I realized I was shot in my chest," said Cpl. Burt Hazeltine.
Two years ago, Hazeltine found himself in the line of fire.
"I took a fragmented round in my left eye, I took a round here in the chest, and one here in the arm," Hazeltine said.
The day started out like any other as Hazeltine directed traffic on busy Highway 90 in Paradis and was confronted by 60-year-old John Paul Devillier, a fired TSA worker.
"He was upset because he got caught in traffic," Hazeltine said. "When he came back to the scene with visible weapons, it made me realize it wasn't going to be a normal day directing traffic."
Word of the shooting spread fast. Hazeltine trained Cpl. James Grimaldi, who heard the call no one wants to hear go out over the police radio.
"It was extremely scary when we heard call for assistance. Your stomach turned inside out," Grimaldi said.
A St. Charles parish jury just found Devillier guilty, and while he's satisfied with the verdict, Hazeltine wanted more.
"I think it would have been nice to hear maybe some remorse," he said.
Hazeltine said he has replayed the morning of the shooting over and over again in his mind. Procedurally, he's not sure he could've changed anything - but he has made changes to his wardrobe.
We asked Hazeltine, "Were you wearing a vest?" "No," he said. We asked, "Now?" "Absolutely," he replied.
"It was a wake-up call for everyone," Grimaldi said.
Hazeltine has resumed his duties at the St. Charles sheriffs training academy, where he teaches valuable lessons.
"This is what I've done, these are the mistakes I made, try not to make the same ones," Hazeltine said.
Hazeltine has had to make some adjustments.
"I'm still adjusting to people walking up on my left side, and I have to listen for footsteps," he said.
But in spite of vision loss, the father of four sees some things more clearly than ever.
"It brought the important things back into focus, and it reminded me of the reality of the job we do," he said.
And it's a reality he remains committed to in spite of his brush with death.
Devillier faces up to 50 years in prison when he's sentenced in April.
As for Hazeltine, he said he never second-guessed his decision to work in law enforcement, even after the shooting, and he still works the same traffic detail on Highway 90.