When San Juan County Sheriff's Deputy Kelly Bradford was hit by the second bullet, all he could think of was his wife and his not-yet-born baby.
"Kelly said when they hit him the second time, he realized how serious it was," said his father, Cleal Bradford. "He didn't know if he would make it. He was thinking of his wife that needed a husband and a new baby that needed a father. His thought was, `God don't let me die.' "Kelly Bradford was critically wounded when he was shot two times near Bluff, San Juan County, Thursday. Police believe he was shot by one of the three assailants who have been eluding police in a massive manhunt since a Cortez, Colo., lawman was gunned down last week.
His chances looked pretty grim as paramedics airlifted him to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., with critical injuries. If he died, who would help take care of his four children? Who would help his wife through labor? She was expecting a fifth child any day.
This story has a happy ending.
On Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Cindy Bradford gave birth to a healthy baby boy, 8 pounds 15 ounces. Kelly Bradford was there to hold the child after delivery.
"He's feeling great," Cleal Bradford said. "He was there during the delivery. He's feeling a whole lot better after realizing how it could've been."
Cindy Bradford choose to give birth to the boy at St. Mary's Hospital, so her husband could be there. The couple named the child Porter.
"One Bradford went in looking kind of pale and two will come out looking healthy," Cleal Bradford added.
Kelly Bradford's condition has improved slowly since Friday. He was in good condition Saturday night, a nursing supervisor said.
"He's starting to move around a little now," Cleal Bradford added. "He was hurting. I mean really hurting. He was pretty green and yellow, but by (Friday) he was starting to get his color back."
One bullet went through his shoulder and out his back. It tore off some of his back muscle on the way out.
"If you've ever done any hunting, you know the exit wound is more serious than the entrance," he said. "It takes the material with it."
The residents of the southeastern Utah county are rallying around the Bradford family. So are the people in the Grand Junction area, which has been a surprise, Cleal Bradford said.
"Nobody there knows our family or Kelly, but they've sent us bouquets of flowers and cards. It was amazing to us."
Kelly Bradford was patrolling in areas close to his Blanding home Thursday because he wanted to be nearby if his wife went into labor. He usually patrols in Monticello, about 20 miles north of Blanding.
He was the first on the scene when a social worker called 911 and said a camouflage man had fired shots at him. Kelly Bradford got out of his car and was shot three times. He didn't even see the gunman.
"Kelly is grateful to be alive, considering the circumstances," Cleal Bradford said. "He's feeling great now. He's a new father and his other kids are out there with him."