BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler said he vividly remembers a suspect emptying her gun on him after Wheeler made what he believed would be a routine traffic stop in January.
Wheeler, 26, of Monroe, was shot four times, including one in the head. The incident happened about 2 a.m. Jan. 7 on U.S. 165 in Morehouse Parish between Bastrop and Sterlington.
"She ran out of bullets and took off," Wheeler said in an interview with USA Today Network. "I remember everything until they air lifted me (to University Health in Shreveport)," Wheeler said.
The trial for suspected shooter Amethyst Baird has been set for Sept. 25 in 4th Judicial District Court. No trial date has been set for her suspected accomplice, Jeremy Gullette.
Wheeler has made a remarkable recovery by all accounts following multiple surgeries and therapy.
This week he and his wife, Haley, were invited by Gov. John Bel Edwards to attend the opening of the regular legislative session, where Wheeler was honored by for his service during the governor's joint address.
"I haven't been to the Capitol since the fourth grade, so it was cool to come here and meet the governor," Wheeler said.
Edwards recognized Wheeler during his address: "Agent Wheeler, we want to thank you and all of your brothers and sisters in uniform who risk their lives every day to keep us safe."
Wheeler said a row of staples in his head will be removed this week and he will be released for running and physical therapy in four to five weeks.
"I'm ready to get back to work," Wheeler said. "I'm hoping to be back on the job by September or October."
"He's ready," Haley said. "I don't know if I am."
"His is an amazing story," said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet.
In the meantime, the couple will celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Easter.
"It's been some kind of first year for us, but we're thankful," Wheeler said. "I'm doing great in my recovery."
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1