Stafford Co. deputy nearly hit by bullet during police chase: 'Probably missed me by about an inch'

- A Stafford County sheriff’s deputy shot at during a deadly shooting and high-speed chase is recounting the terrifying ordeal.

“It’s just what we do,” Stafford County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody McCormick told FOX 5 about responding to the danger of that day.

On Dec. 28, authorities say 42-year-old Gregory Lee shot and killed his wife in their Fredericksburg apartment before leading police on a chase up northbound Interstate 95.

A Virginia State Police trooper was originally pursuing Lee on I-95 when McCormick heard over the radio that shots had been fired. He jumped in his vehicle to join the call.

RELATED: Dash cam video of Stafford County suspect shooting at cops, leading high-speed chase released

“The welfare of the trooper was the only thing I was thinking about,” recalled McCormick. 

He finally caught up next to the trooper.

“Then I noticed a black SUV turn sideways in the middle of 95,” he said. “And then I saw the gun come out of the window.”

McCormick tried his best to dodge the bullet, which landed squarely in his windshield. 

“I was literally checking myself for unnecessary holes,” he added. “You can’t move very far in the car. I was able to get to the right -- just out of the way enough that by all my calculations of trying to move in the car -- afterwards it probably missed me by about an inch. [The bullet] hit the headrest about as dead center as you could possibly imagine. It went through the headrest, came out the back of the headrest, struck the plexiglass cage that divides the front compartment from the rear of the vehicle and actually cracked that. I had a bunch of glass shards from the windshield lodged in my face and my neck bunch of cuts on my hands.”

Shortly after shooting at them, Lee took his own life, causing the rollover crash that ended the pursuit.

McCormick knows it won’t be his last, but that day, more difficult than most, is one to remember -- and he's thankful it didn’t turn out differently.

“They actually gave me the headrest with the hole in it, so I’m going to do some work and make a nice little trophy out of that," he said.

McCormick joked that he didn’t want to tell his parents about the ordeal at first so he wouldn't scare them. But the story came out anyway, and McCormick said his parents are incredibly thankful their son is still alive.

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