Agent ambushed in Oakleaf Publix parking lot: Dying was not an option

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The federal agent ambushed outdoors a Clay County Publix in September spoke solely with First Coast Information concerning the capturing that almost took his life and his miraculous restoration over the 2 months that adopted.

Drew Stokes, an aviation enforcement agent with US Customs and Border Safety Air and Marine Operations, was shot 5 occasions outdoors the Oakleaf Publix on September 26.

“[I] took a late lunch, determined to go to Publix, and that’s when the whole lot went south,” Stokes advised First Coast Information.

Stokes was strolling to his automotive after leaving the grocery retailer and remembered each element of what adopted.

“After which that’s once I hear ‘I *expletive* hate cops,’ after which I heard the gunshots,” Stokes stated. He was sporting a t-shirt with “CBP Federal Agent” on the again and a shoulder holster on the time.

“I noticed the blood operating like a river beside me after which I knew that it was gonna be fairly the wrestle after that,” he stated.

As he laid injured on the bottom, Stokes’ coaching kicked in and he by no means doubted that he would survive. He pulled his personal gun and readied for an additional assault, however was shortly informed there was no extra menace. Authorities stated the shooter, 18-yr-previous Jake Lewis, took his personal life shortly after.

As individuals rushed to Stokes’ help, his spouse, Amanda, was working in Mandarin. Amanda Stokes stated Drew had texted her to see if she needed something from the grocery retailer. Minutes later, she acquired an alert on her telephone from a group social media web page concerning the capturing.

“And that was inside six minutes of the textual content that Drew had despatched,” Amanda Stokes stated. “So I knew instinctively at that second that it was him.”

Over the approaching hours and days, Stokes wavered between life and demise. Throughout a second surgical procedure to restore Stokes’ liver, docs informed Amanda her husband won’t survive.

“I can keep in mind simply sitting on the ground, I couldn’t even sit in a chair as a result of I couldn’t consider that I kissed my husband goodbye lower than 12 hours in the past and now they’re telling me my husband might not make it,” she stated.

Drew Stokes did make it. He’s now present process bodily remedy and doing restricted exercises on his personal to rebuild muscle he misplaced whereas on the hospital.

Stokes stated docs credited his bodily health for his good end result.

“The bullet that went in by means of my aspect is 2 millimeters from my T-12 backbone, and my muscle…

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