(09/05/2012)
The Roane County sheriff's deputy who was wounded during the August 28 shootings in Clay County has been discharged from the hospital.

Deputy John Westfall was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, having undergone at least two surgeries since being admitted to the hospital last Tuesday, following a shootout at Wallback.

News media says Deputy Westfall is responsible for shooting and killing Luke Baber, after police say Baber shot two WV State Policemen, both who died. Also shot was a tow trucker driver who survived the incident.

Westfall encountered Baber near this barn along State
Route 36, a short distance from where the officers were shot

Investigators said Deputy Westfall was wounded during a shootout with Baber after he followed him into the woods across State Rt. 36 from the Wallback park and ride.

The Roane County community has been gathering around deputy Westfall since the August 28 incident.

Westfall, who is also a part-time Spencer policeman, was shot three times in the gun battle, family members saying he was shot in the abdomen, shoulder and right hand.

Roane County Sheriff Mike Harper said Westfall's life was likely saved because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Westfall, a father of three, is the husband of Roane Assessor Emily Westfall and the son of Candace Westfall, who manages the Spencer Antique Mall and serves on the Little Kanawha Transit Authority Board.

Close friend and co-worker Sgt. John Caldwell was one of the first on the scene.

"I was shocked - everything was spinning," Caldwell said. "I thought, hang in there, he's my friend, he's like a brother."

Now, the Roane County community is attempting to raise money for bulletproof vests, after discovering other officers do not have them.

"The reality of the situation created a county and city police force audit of equipment and forced us to realize that we are under equipped in life saving equipment such as these bullet proof vests." said Jacob Fetty, with the City of Spencer.

The inventory audit shows a need to purchase 10 more of the life saving devices. The cost for one vest is $650.

"While that may sound like a lot of money, protecting those that protect us is priceless. Please help us raise $6,500," said Fetty.

"These young men literally put their lives on the line for us daily. They are family men, brothers, fathers, husbands and friends."

Donations can be made by check/Paypal or in-person:

City of Spencer
116 Court St
Spencer, WV 25276
Information 304-927-1640


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