Deputies injured in Lakeside shooting honored by county: Ali Perez says he's alive because of Christ

Detective Ali Perez, Sgt. Craig Johnson honored

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County sheriff's deputies who were injured during a shootout in Lakeside last year were honored by the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The deputies say it is nothing short of a miracle that they were alive to accept an award from the county.

In September, they were at a Lakeside apartment complex to arrest Daniel Witczak, who is accused of molesting two girls.

They got into a shootout and Detective Ali Perez and Sgt. Craig Johnson were both hit with a high-powered rifle.

During Witczak's court appearance, Perez testified he saw Jesus as he was laying there dying.

On Tuesday, after receiving his award, Perez said he has received a lot of positive feedback since sharing his story.

"Sometimes people think, 'Lord, just give me a sign, please anything'… I am that sign," he said.

Perez is also reaching out to others who may not believe him to keep spreading the message.

"I hope my words will at least open their minds to the possibility," he said. "I know with absolute certainty that the only reason I'm alive is because of Christ, and I feel like it's my obligation to share that with as many people as I can."

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