The Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office revealed today the deputy who was shot on Monday is 32-year-old Derek Hamstra, a K-9 Deputy who has worked with Whiteside County for eight-and-a-half years.
In a release sent out by the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office today, they say Deputy Hamstra was allegedly shot in his left foot by an Illinois State Trooper on accident while they were searching for two suspects. The suspects had fled police earlier in the day in a high-speed chase.
John Booker, Sheriff of Whiteside County, said today Deputy Hamstra was expected to be released from the hospital today, Wednesday, but instead will remain there until at least Thursday, recovering from his gunshot wound.
“We were hoping he’d get out today, but he’s going to be in for at least another day at the hospital,” Booker said. “He’s having some issues with pain and they want to get that under control.”
Sheriff Booker said that while it’s a good thing Hamstra wasn’t injured any worse, a shot to the foot is still no small injury.
“It could’ve been a lot worse … we could be sitting here talking about a lot more damage to him, life-threatening damages, career-ending,” Booker said. “The only problem is there’s a lot of bones in your foot, a lot of little bones that can be damaged if a bullet goes in there.”
On top of all this, Deputy Hamstra was only a few weeks away from being promoted to sergeant at the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Booker said that when Hamstra is able to return to duty in a few months, that promotion will be waiting for him.
“When I went to talk to him in the hospital, he was like, ‘Well I suppose sheriff this is going to, you know, put back being a sergeant for a little bit,'” Booker said. “And I said, ‘Well, it will be a little delay, but you’re still sergeant and will be for the Sheriff’s Office.'”
The Sheriff’s Office adds that Deputy Hamstra wants to say thank you to everyone who has wished him a speedy recovery.