Clearing a lump in his throat, Charleston County sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey DeGrow made his first public statement today, a week after he was shot in the line of duty while chasing suspected burglars on James Island.

"One week ago from today, my life would be changed forever, after being shot six times," he said."It's truly a miracle, and God's grace, that I am still here today."

DeGrow went on to thank the men and women from the many police and rescue agencies that responded to the shooting and helped chase down the perpetrators.

He had answered a routine burglary call off Grimball Road on Jan. 21 and was patrolling the neighborhood for suspects when he spotted a group of men. Three of them ran away and DeGrow got out of his cruiser and started a foot chase.

One of those three men fired at DeGrow, and one of the shots struck near DeGrow's right eye. DeGrow said today he is not sure if his vision will return.

After an intensive manhunt, three suspects were arrested.

Brandon Simmons, 21, was being held without bail on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill in the shooting. His brother, Theodore Simmons, 20, and a cousin, Curtis Williams, 20, are charged with misprision of a felony.

Read tomorrow's edition of The Post and Courier for more details.

Reach David W. MacDougall at macdougd@postandcourier.com or 937-5655.