Deputy's Wife: "I Absolutely Panicked"

In a short statement that included both tears and smiles, Alicia Roberts described the last week; starting with her husband being shot and left for dead, and ending with his remarkable fight to stay alive and recover.

Butler County Deputy, Brandon Roberts was shot at point blank range in the abdomen with a shotgun during a multi-county crime spree Wednesday. His high school sweetheart and wife of two years, Alicia, got the phone call as Brandon was being taken to a Dayton hospital.

"I absolutely panicked," she says. "I looked over at my beautiful little girl, and I thought, 'she will never know her daddy.'"

But it was thoughts of Alicia and their 15-month-old daughter Isabelle that kept Brandon fighting for his life in those critical moments, he later told his wife. At the same time, Alicia says she was facing the possibility of her worst nightmare coming true.

"No words can explain the utter terror that enveloped me for the next five hours as we waited in the hospital for Brandon to come out of surgery," she says.

When he did come out of surgery, Alicia waited at his bedside for days. And slowly, his condition improved, going from guarded to critical to fair. The 26-year-old who family describe as quiet and gentle,was also proving how strong he is. Soon Alicia says she saw one of Brandon's best qualities, his sense of humor.

"You see him winse in pain one minute," she says, "and the next minute he's making everybody laugh."

Doctors do not know the extent of his injuries, or how long he'll be in the hospital, or what his life will like afterwards. Alicia says he can now sit up and eat on his own. But he has much bigger plans.

"He's already talking about future stuff with the department," Alicia says. "So I think he plans on coming back [to the sheriff's department] and sticking with it."

Alicia says she'll support him if he does go back, considering it a blessing that he might be able to.

"I am so thankful that my husband is alive today," she says. "I don't know what I would do without him. He's my best friend and my whole world."