SELMA, AL (WSFA) - September 23, 2018. Selma veteran policeman Micah Hale found himself being ambushed long before sunrise on that Sunday morning.
“The bullet hit the right side of my back right here," he said pointing to the spot.
Two gunshot wounds and one surgery later, “Now I am able to make a fist," he explained.
Hale returned to active duty for the first this time this week.
“I was nervous because I was going back to my profession. It was like going back to school for the first time," he said.
Back on the road after four months, Hale never even considered giving it up despite pleas from family.
“I’m a deeply religious person, so I rely on my faith," he said.
The veteran lawman remembers that early morning all too well. He had just come down Broad Street and taken a left on Furniss Avenue, a choice he purposely made to pull in a parking lot to fill out police reports. And then it happened.
“I then heard a swoosh, a sound go right by my ear and, wait a minute, somebody’s shooting at me and from there I realized bullets hitting my vehicle," he said.
Hale remembers it happening in about 15 seconds; gunshots. He sped away but crashed and overturned his vehicle. And he discovered he was bleeding.
“As I got out of my vehicle, I out pulled my weapon and the streets were completely empty," he remembers.
For a brief time, Furniss became an avenue of hatred and violence, and it was Micah Hale who bore the brunt of it.
“It will forever be burned in the tapestry of my memory.”
Today, there is no anger, no bitterness, no desire to get even. Hale is just eager to pick up where he left off more than four months ago and continue the call he answered 13 years ago, the call to serve others.
“By the grace of God I am still standing,” he said.
Suspects Kelvin Johnson and Octavious Brown remain in the Dallas County Jail. There’s no known motive in the case and Hale has no idea why they allegedly targeted him.
Investigators have speculated it may have been a case of mistaken identity since officer Hale was not driving a marked vehicle.