MITCHELL COUNTY, TX (KWES) - The Westbrook Fire Chief, in Mitchell County, is lucky to be alive. He was attacked and stabbed several times earlier this week. His accused attacker was caught and has been charged with attempted capital murder.
Fire Chief Brandon Hale was helping the Sheriff's Office search for a suspect when he was attacked. He was talking to a witness and his back was turned when that witness stabbed him several times. It happened in Westbrook at the corner of Thorne and Grady.
On Tuesday night just before 11 p.m., the Sheriff's Department got a call about a man firing a shotgun in the middle of the street. The deputy called to the scene was on his way but he knew Hale happened to be in the area so he asked him to stick around and keep an eye out. The sheriff says the two departments lean on each other often.
"As far as us contacting them, that's always going to be on our mind now of what kind of situation we're going to put these volunteer people in," said Sheriff Patrick Toombs of Mitchell County.
The deputy arrived but Hale stuck around. That's when Stony Ray Wilson, 49, ran up from behind a home and stabbed hale several times. His wife, who is also a first responder, tells NewsWest9 she's thankful her husband wasn't killed.
"Praising god that's he's still here cause it could have been so much worse but it didn't. It's not the most ideal situation and it's going to be a long road and a long recovery," said Mindy Hale, wife of Brandon Hale.
"We're all very close and you don't want to see someone hurt, especially someone that you're very close to," said Toombs.
Fire Chief Brandon Hale was stabbed in the eye, front and back during the attack. The sheriff says he will lose his left eye.
"We're so thankful that he's here and he's here to watch his two boys grow up and he's here to grow old with me and to keep volunteering and keep doing what he does," said Mindy Hale.
She says even after this brutal attack, Hale is ready to get back to his duties as fire chief.