Sheriff’s Deputy Forgives Felon Who Shot Him in the Head Twice: ‘I Hope He Gets Right With God’

Sheriff’s Deputy Forgives Felon Who Shot Him in the Head Twice: ‘I Hope He Gets Right With God’
(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)
Michael Wing
6/4/2022
Updated:
6/4/2022

A Mississippi sheriff’s deputy who survived being shot twice in the head in 2019 says he forgives the man who pulled the trigger that day and changed his life forever.

Brad Sullivan, 44, a former hostage negotiator for Madison County Sheriff’s Office, was responding to a call of an armed kidnapper in a rural area east of Canton, north of Jackson. The suspect, Edgar Egbert, a former Marine, was heavily armed and opened fire on Sullivan’s Tahoe cruiser.

Two shots entered the windshield and struck him in the right temple, wounding him badly. Other officers returned fire and Egbert was eventually apprehended. Sullivan was taken to University of Mississippi Medical Center where he passed out, waking up 30 days later from a medically induced coma.

Sullivan survived, but his life would never be the same.

“My life has changed tremendously,” he told The Epoch Times. “On September 5, 2019, Deputy Brad Sullivan was killed. He died that day. Brad Sullivan did not.”

(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)
(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)
(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)
(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)

He retired, had numerous surgeries, and came to the realization that he would never be the father he originally planned on being. His injuries left the entire left side of his body paralyzed and right eye blind. The hole in his skull could not be shored up for fear of infection, leaving his brain partially exposed. Initially harboring anger against his assailant, the former officer would later forgive the man who shot him.

Getting to that stage took some soul searching.

“When I finally woke up out of a coma, I was very angry. I wanted to know, what did I do? — What did I do in my 42 years that was so bad that I deserved this?” Sullivan said. “I was mad at him and I was mad at the whole world.”

On reflection, he thanked God for letting him live to see his kids grow; he has a 20-year-old daughter now in college and a 10-year-old son, whom he still has custody over.

Although he met his milestones of standing up and returning home for Christmas in 2019, a fall during physio, rolling his ankle, set him back from achieving his ultimate aim: to walk again.

“I pray that I’m walking with at least a cane, unassisted, around my house,” he told the newspaper. “I know that once I get to the pearly gates, I’ll have a new body and it’ll be perfect, and I’ll be walking, and dancing, and jumping up and down for joy.”

(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)
(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)

His independence, something he once took for granted, is no more. He now needs live-in assistance 24/7. He can no longer do the things other dads can.

“I can’t catch or throw a baseball anymore because of my depth perception,” he said, referencing his shrapnel-damaged right eye. “I have finally figured out how to throw a football and catch a football with [my son], as long as he throws it to the right side of my body.”

All told, the former deputy has had over 10 surgeries, including reconstruction of his right eye — which potentially, down the road, could regain some sight in the lower region.

Nevertheless, a man of faith, Sullivan said his healing accelerated after he reconciled in his heart with the man who pulled the trigger. He credits God for making that happen.

“After waking up from that surgery and the surgery after it, and [God] still keeping me here on earth, that kind of made me open my eyes,“ said Sullivan. ”I started getting better, and as long as I was forgiving him, I could see the progression of it, of God then saying, ‘Yes, son, I’m here with you, I will always be here with you, I’m going to help you through this.’

“I wish him the best,“ he added. ”I hope that he sees what he’s done to my family and other families, and I hope that he prays and gets right with God, and maybe one day he will be at the pearly gates also.”

(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)
(Courtesy of Brad Sullivan)

Egbert was charged with several felony counts and sentenced to 213 years in prison.

Now, Sullivan likely has only one more surgery in June. He hopes it'll be his last. “They say, you can only be put to sleep a certain amount of times and wake up from it,” he said, adding he’s “terrified” each time going under that he might not wake up.

The former officer now gets workers’ compensation, while sheriff’s deputies in conjunction with Kirkland Homes are building Sullivan a fully adapted, retrofitted house, which will make tucking his son in at night possible in his wheelchair. He thanks Deputies Joey Butler and Dwayne Moak as well as Kirkland Homes.

Anyone who wishes to contribute toward Sullivan’s new house can donate at ahomeforbrad.org.

Although retired, Sullivan continues teaching basic classes at the Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy in Pearl, where he instructs on Officers’ Survival and PTSD.

He imparts to his classes: “Tell your kids you love them, and you tell your wife or your spouse that you love them before you walk out the door. … You never know that that is your day to go, are you going to make it home that day?”

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