ELYRIA — A sheriff’s deputy who was the last county law enforcement officer to be shot in the line of duty has retired.
Sgt. Shawn Hadaway, 50, has taken a position as instructor of the law enforcement program with Lorain County Joint Vocation School, where he has been working for the past week while using his remaining vacation time from the Sheriff’s Office. He served as a deputy for more than 28 years.
Hadaway said he had worked the required 25 years needed to retire from the Sheriff’s Office, and when he heard about the opening at JVS after the previous instructor retired at the end of the last school year, he decided to seize the opportunity.
“I knew I had a lot to offer to the students,” Hadaway said. “With my background, I have a unique outlook on life, especially because of what happened to me.”
In June 2000, Hadaway and two other deputies responded to calls about gunfire during a neighborhood dispute in Sheffield Township.
As they approached through backyards, a man stepped out of nearby woods and fired a shotgun into Hadaway, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest.
The alleged shooter, 42-year-old Terry Wyers, of Lorain, fled but was later confronted by two Lorain police officers who were responding to the incident.
Wyers was fatally shot six times by the officers after he ignored an order to drop his weapon and instead loaded a round and aimed the gun at police, according to sheriff’s Capt. Rich Resendez, who was then a lieutenant with Lorain police.
Wyers was a patient at a psychiatric clinic and had been on medication, according to county coroner Paul Matus.
Hadaway said the shooting is still with him.
“For the first five years I thought about it daily — every day it was there with me,” he said. “Heck, I still think about it. Getting dressed in the morning, the scars are still there.”
Hadaway said he still has about 100 shotgun pellets lodged throughout his torso, but he has only minor pain that goes away with a few aspirins every once in a while. Other than that, he said, there were no lingering medical or psychological effects from that day, but the incident did help drive him to his new profession.
“It’s still fresh in my mind and I hope to pass some of that on to the next generation,” he said. “I think I can teach them ways to be attuned to survival skills and ways to handle dangerous situations.”
Even though he’s entered a new chapter in his life, he said he’ll miss the camaraderie of being an officer of the law most.
“The biggest part of what I miss is the companionship of the deputies,” he said. “When you put your life on the line daily you get pretty close.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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