Deputy: ‘It’s supposed to be me getting shot, not my family’

Sheriff's Deputy Josh Myers' wife and toddler daughter were killed; his son and baby daughter survived.
"Get home now."

Then, another urgent message: “We got notified on the radio that a trooper was chasing a suspect that had fired shots,” Myers told reporters on Wednesday. Instead of heading home, the deputy drove to Reliable Metal Products plant in the nearby town of Geneva, where the gunman had shot and killed himself after a bloody rampage in southern Alabama in which he killed 10 people — including relatives and apparent strangers. Myers had no idea that the man, whose body he saw at the plant, had shot and killed his wife and 1½-year-old daughter, Corinne Gracy, and shot and wounded his 3-month-old baby girl, Ella Kay. Watch Josh Myers tell his story: “I need help” » A family friend found the couple’s 4-year-old son hiding in the Myers’ home after the shooting. “He was present when it happened,” Myers said. “He knows something’s wrong. He asked where mama was, and I had to tell him she was with Jesus. This is going to take a long time to work through it.” Andrea Myers, 31, was holding Ella Kay and talking with her neighbors on their porch across the street when the gunman — identified by police as Michael McLendon — opened fire. The neighbors turned out to be McLendon’s relatives, although it was unclear why he targeted them. He said one of his neighbors saved his wounded daughter’s life.

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“She ran up on the porch and got my baby girl and took her to safety,” Myers said. The 10 people McLendon killed before he shot himself to death included his mother, grandmother, other relatives and strangers, police said. Watch report on Alabama rampage » Ella Kay, who was shot in the leg, will have surgery on Wednesday at a hospital in Pensacola, Florida, to remove the bullet or shrapnel that is near her femoral artery, Myers said. A day after Tuesday’s shootings, Myers stood in front of his home, across the street from the house where his family was killed, and spoke to reporters. Officials investigate scene of rampage

“It’s supposed to be me out here getting shot, not my family,” Myers said, speaking barely above a whisper. “I’d step out on the street any day and take a bullet for anybody in this community. Anybody. I take that risk when I go to work every day, I take that risk when I’m off. “Nobody’s family should have this done,” he added, holding pictures of his wife and daughters.