HOUSTON - Hours after the man accused of shooting him faces a judge, the Houston police officer shot during an attempted robbery speaks out with his family.
"I didn't think I would get shot. We always prepare for the worst. I was just thinking these guys need to get caught because they could really hurt someone," Officer Jason Rhodes said.
The officer, still recovering, has a wife, 2-year-old son and baby on the way.
"It does make me stop and really appreciate things a little bit more now ... realizing I could've been killed," said his wife, Yajaira Rhodes. "I always imagine 'what if,' but you never actually really think it's gonna happen to you."
In court, Hearld fidgeted and swayed back and forth as the judge read the charges against him.
"Officer Rhodes observed two males get out of their vehicles with hoodies over their heads, walk into the front entrance of the store in what he believed to be suspicious behavior," a prosecutor said.
"It's a very scary profession but I think he really enjoys it. He enjoys his job," said Rhodes.
Rhodes suspected the two planned to rob a Family Dollar on Homestead on Tuesday afternoon. When the five-year HPD veteran turned around, police said the pair took off and Rhodes chased them.
"This defendant stopped, turned around, and fired several shots directly at Officer Rhodes," a prosecutor said.
Rhodes was shot in the arm and released from the hospital hours later. He knows it could've been worse.
"I was truly blessed by God. It's bad getting shot, but I mean it couldn't have went any better for me," Rhodes said.
As the family looked to the future, the Marine had a message for community members.
"We're human just like everybody else. A lot of us really do care about the community and we're trying to protect them," said Jason Rhodes.