Bowie Co. deputy discusses why he’s returning to the force after being shot in head by suspect

Lt. Scott Lillis returns to work months after being shot in the face, losing vision in one eye.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 4:15 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:46 PM CST
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BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) - While he was once a “fallen” hero, Lt. Scott Lillis is back on his feet and back on-duty with the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office.

He returns from a 5-month hiatus after recovering from being shot in the head by a murder suspect during a traffic stop. The incident, while taking a physical toll on Lt. Lillis, also put a financial burden on his family, but he says the community came together for him in ways he never imagined.

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Lt. Scott Lillis returns to work after being shot in the head while on duty.

“The contact and the prayers, and the well wishes, the financial gifts to help out pay bills... it made my life easier at the moment of recovery. It lessened the burden and stress of paying bills. The gratitude and support were really showing,” said Lt. Lillis in an interview with KSLA Friday, Jan. 27.

Lt. Scott Lillis is back on-duty at the Bowie County Sheriff's Office after being shot in the...
Lt. Scott Lillis is back on-duty at the Bowie County Sheriff's Office after being shot in the head by a murder suspect back in August of 2022.(KSLA)

During the interview, Lt. Lillis spoke about why he decided to continue his work with the sheriff’s office, and how he’s handling his return.

After being on duty, Depouty Lillis returns to work.

“It’s kind of an adjustment but it’s good to be back,” said Lillis.

Lillis says that through his adjustment, the hardest part was adjusting to seeing with one eye and being stuck at home while everyone’s lives moved forward. He tells KSLA he was eager to return, but many people were shocked at his willingness to return to the frontlines.

“This is just the career that I’ve chosen. I’ve been drawn to do this over the years. There were always other options in life to do other things, but this is what compels us to do this job; the desire to help other’s and be out here in the world and do what we do,” said Lillis.

His bravery in the face of danger was not a coincidence.

“Something I guess I’ve trained for my whole life through the marines and law enforcement. It’s an unfortunate side effect of this job. It seems much more common nowadays,” said Lillis.

While Lillis says was it difficult and nerve-wracking, one thing that helped him through it the most aside from his wife, was the abundant outpouring of support from the people he serves and risks his life for everyday.

“Especially working nights, you kind of isolate yourself from society. You just sleep and work at nights. It’s just very heartfelt knowing that the community stands behind us and when something this tragic happens, they’re out here for us and our families.”