OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Nearly two months after a shooting that killed his fellow lawman, we’re hearing from an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Deputy injured in the line of duty.

It happened in late August when Deputy Bobby Swartz and Deputy Mark Johns were serving eviction papers in Southwest Oklahoma City.

Officials say there, the suspect, Benjamin Plank, fired shots at the two before leading authorities on a chase.

Sgt. Swartz died of his injuries.

Johns was injured – but lived – telling his story today.

As you can imagine, it’s been a very tough road to recovery for Deputy Johns – with scars both physical and emotional.

“It’s been hard” said Deputy Johns. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life

Johns – speaking on the day his life changed forever.

“Being a cop, you know that the possibility of being shot is out there,” he said. “You just you never know when evil is going to pop its head up – and that’s what happened on this day.”

Johns was hit by gunfire twice in the groin.

He fell to the ground – injuring his right shoulder so severely – he had to pop it back into place so he could use his weapon if needed.

“Fortunately, he decided that the gun battle was over for him and he wanted to leave,” Johns recalled. 

Johns was rushed to the hospital.

His femoral artery had been hit.

Doctors were able to temporarily stop the bleeding – but he knew his life was on the line.

 “I prayed to God,” Johns said. “God is my father and I just prayed to God that that He wouldn’t let me die.”

Johns’ long days in the hospital didn’t mark the end of the pain in his body – and in his heart.

The deputy – still trying to cope with the fact that the Sgt. Swartz didn’t survive that horrible day.

“Bobby was one of my best friends for 25 years,” said Johns. “Going through life, you have maybe a handful of true friends, what you would call a true friend, a friend that would do anything in the world for you no matter what – shy of being illegal. Bobby was one of those.”

Johns plans to honor Swartz the only way he knows how – getting back to work when he can.

“Bobby would tell me, hey, suck it up and get back in the saddle,” Johns said. “So that’s what I’m doing.”

Johns says he’s incredibly grateful for the support he’s received from all over the country – and at home – from his loving wife.

“She has been by my side for 25 years and Melissa Johns is my hero,” he said.

The suspect in this case – Benjamin Plank – was arrested on numerous charges including first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill.