Deputy Tyler Watkins
McCreary County Sheriffs Office
On July 16, 2019 Deputy Tyler Watkins was responding to what could be mistakenly referred to as a routine welfare check. Upon arrival, Deputy Watkins observed a man sitting in a car possibly ill or in need of some type of assistance. As Deputy Watkins approached the vehicle the man inside of it immediately, and without warning, fired two shots from a .45 caliber pistol at close range. One shot struck Deputy Watkins’ ballistic vest but the second round hit him in his stomach below the vest. Though seriously wounded and losing blood, Deputy Watkins was able to retreat to cover behind his cruiser and return fire. It was this quick action in the face of danger that forced the assailant back into his vehicle and away from innocent citizens in the area.
The assailant then sped away and later crashed into a constable’s cruiser, resulting in his capture. Deputy Watkins was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he survived two surgeries to repair his wounds.
For his brave actions in the line of duty, while under fire and wounded, McCreary County Deputy Tyler Watkins was presented with the 2019 Kentucky Sheriffs Association Medal of Honor.