(CBS4) – With three bullet wounds and in a wheelchair, Lincoln County Sheriff Deputy Mike Hutton emerged from Swedish Hospital in Englewood to the salutes and relief of his comrades.

Michael Hutton (credit: CBS)

“It is an honor, and it is a privilege to be here today to get him home,” Capt. Michael Yowell of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office told reporters.

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Last Thursday morning a call came in of someone trying to break into a semi-trailer outside of Limon in eastern Colorado. Hutton responded and was met with gunfire.

(credit: CBS)

“He was shot in the torso, as well as the arms multiple times. He took three rounds total,” said Yowell.

A manhunt took place in the early morning fog. Other departments were called in to take part in the search for a person they knew had already shot one of their own. The gunman from Ohio, Tristin Ensinger, 25, was found dead after taking his own life.

The outcome could have been much different, but there was Hutton on Tuesday afternoon leaving the hospital far sooner than expected.

(credit: CBS)

Sitting in his own patrol car to take him back to Lincoln County, Hutton said, “I’m doing much better now. Just happy to go home.”

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And so were a lot of others.

“Thank you for all your support, thank you everyone. I got lucky, I got lucky,” Hutton said.

Lucky, and grateful of his colleagues and those he serves.

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With lights flashing a motorcade carrying the injured deputy arrived in Limon to a hero’s welcome with people lining the streets waving flags and offering thanks.

Rick Sallinger