911 tape reveals shot deputy's pain, fear

911 tape reveals shot deputy's pain, fear
A newly-released 911 tape reveals the painful and fearful moments that followed after a deputy was shot in the back and left for dead.

Earl Romig is finally out of the hospital and home with his new bride, but the hard times are just beginning.

"When the pain's on, it's on. I mean, it's excruciating," he said.

Romig was shot nearly six weeks ago but still needs a walker to get around. Memories of that day still haunt him.

"I see him and I'm screaming for help, 'you shot me, you shot me, help me please. God help me.' I looked at my scope and saw him looking back at me, walking off," he said.

Investigators say Robbie Joe Marcher left the off-duty Grant County deputy for dead. But a hiker heard his calls for help and called 911. The deputy used his code to identify himself to the dispatcher.

Romig: "It's 50."
Dispatcher: "It's 50?"
Romig: "Yeah, 50. I'm hurt."
Dispatcher: "Earl, where are you shot at?"
Romig: "I'm shot in the leg. You've got to hurry."

The bullet had hit the deputy in the back, ricocheted off his spine and came out through his stomach. Romig told the dispatcher he might not make it.

Romig: "I want you to tell Tami I love her so much, OK?"
Dispatcher: "Earl, you're going to be fine, OK?"
Romig: "I know, but you need to hurry."
Dispatcher: "Earl, please hang in there with me, OK?"

After Romig arrived at the hospital, he died three times on the operating table. But doctors managed to save him and sent him to Harborview Medical Center. It was there he married his fiance who has since become his head nurse.

"It wasn't something I ever expected but it's not a big deal to me," said wife Tami Romig. "I will do it for the rest of my life if I have to."

Marcher has pleaded not guilty to assault and other charges. He claims he was shooting at a coyote, but Romig says there's no way that's true.

"There's no doubt he saw me as a human being that day," he said.

Doctors fused part of Romig's spine and his right leg has severe nerve damage. But Romig is determined to walk down the aisle at their wedding ceremony this June.