Exclusive: Wife of sergeant shot in face speaks out

April 7, 2011 1:37:54 PM PDT
Four days ago, the life of Conroe Police Sgt. James Kelemen changed forever when a suspect shot him in the face. For the first time his wife is speaking publicly and only to Eyewitness News.

Stacy Kelemen is still shaking form Sunday's events and watching police dash cam video. Police showed it to her, her husband and fellow police officers at the Conroe Police Department for the first time on Wednesday. For her, it already confirmed what she already knew -- that her husband is a hero.

The dashcam video is both graphic and emotional.

"Tell my wife and kids I love them," you hear Kelemen say on the video.

Stacy Kelemen lived it.

"It was horrifying," she said. "Laying there he grabbed his phone and called me -- he did, he called me. He told me, 'Baby, I've been shot.'"

We talked to Stacy minutes after she watched the video taken from her husband's patrol car for the first time. On Sunday, Sgt. Kelemen responded to a Conroe bakery. James Hill, 54, was already outside with a shotgun.

For two minutes, Sgt. Kelemen begged Hill to drop the weapon. He didn't, but instead shot the officer in the face. Other officers returned fire and killed him.

"It's scary, it's scary. It looks like something you would see on TV," Stacy said.

Kelemen's first thought was his wife and kids. He then got to call her and told her he loved her and his children.

Stacy never thought she'd get such a call.

Kelemen lost his right eye from the shooting. Police and community support has been overwhelming and it doesn't hurt that his sense of humor is intact, too. He looks forward to returning to what he loves soon.

"If he wasn't such a good cop, he wouldn't be here today, and if the officers that were with him weren't trained and as good as they are, they got me my husband back in one piece -- minus an eye, but we can get over that. There's nothing we can't do," Stacy said.

Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis says he knows other officers around the area may be second-guessing what Kelemen did and didn't do on Sunday, but he isn't. He backs him 100 percent.

Police say Hill had been to the bakery earlier in the day. They say he previously had a relationship with a woman who works there. They found additional bullets in Hill's pocket. Dupuis says he is convinced Hill intended to kill her, the other employees and possibly himself. He believes what Sgt. Kelemen and the other officers did prevented that.

Kelemen will eventually have a silicone eye inserted. He is recovering at home, but hopes to return to service soon.

Stacy and James Kelemen have been married four years. Kelemen has been with the Conroe Police Department for six years. Before that, he was working at the Willis Police Deparment.

Load Comments