There’s a long road ahead for Greenville County Deputy Dave Dempsey.
Dempsey remained in the hospital in critical condition Tuesday after he was shot in the head Dec. 10 while answering a call at a Taylors apartment complex.
The call that night had come from Spring Grove Apartments. A resident had reported hearing a commotion next door, then a gunshot. It sounded like someone was getting robbed, the caller told authorities.
Dempsey and another deputy forced their way into the apartment, where authorities said they were met by Charles Rosemond Sr. Rosemond had a gun and fired one shot, which struck Dempsey in the head.
Never miss a local story.
The other deputy returned fire, killing Rosemond, authorities said.
Dempsey was taken to the hospital, where doctors later found that his injuries were more serious than originally reported, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jonathan Smith.
Smith said the bullet that hit Dempsey also fractured his skull and ricocheted, creating a second wound.
Dempsey has since undergone surgery to remove part of his skull to allow for his brain to swell. He spent four days hooked up to a ventilator but was in stable condition Tuesday night, Smith said.
Dempsey's wife, Amy, has hardly left his side since the shooting.
In a moment of quiet reflection after a night at the hospital, Amy Dempsey said she's felt a weight on her chest ever since that 2 a.m. knock on the door.
"I miss Dave immensely, and I want no one but him," Amy said in a public note updating friends and family on her husband's condition.
"The way he leaves his clothes beside the laundry basket and the hair he leaves in the sink suddenly doesn't matter to me anymore," she said. "I need for him to come home and drink out of the milk jug and put dishes in the sink for me to clean up."
Dempsey, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, had originally retired in June 2012 after 27 years with the city of Greenville Police Department.
Retirement didn't last long. A month later, Dempty was back at work, this time as a deputy at the Sheriff's Office. He was assigned to the traffic unit and was on uniform patrol the night he was shot.
“This goes to show what kind of person Dave Dempsey is at his core,” Smith said.
He said the family is optimistic about his recovery, despite a long road ahead.
An account for donations for medical expenses has been set up atwww.gofundme.com/davedempsey.
While worker's compensation will cover Dempsey's immediate expenses, the family said he'll need long-term physical therapy and medical attention with such a serious injury.
"Though Dave and Amy lead a simple life, they have young kids in the house to consider," the GoFundMe account said.
The Sheriff's Office has also partnered with Radiant Church in Travelers Rest to accept donations.
Checks made in honor of Deputy Dave Dempsey can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office Northern Area Command Office, 4900 Old Buncombe Road, or mailed to Radiant Church at PO Box 1148, Travelers Rest, 29690.
Elizabeth Sanders, Romando Dixson and Nathaniel Cary contributed to this report.