Former DPD officer who survived being shot 6 times still serves others

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After being shot six times, Derrick Hayes decided it was time to testify and tell his story. 

He wanted to counsel other officers who have gone through the same trauma while serving the community.

At Fenkell and Grand River 13 years ago, Derrick Hayes wasn't supposed to be working. It was a Saturday, but he and his wife decided they could use the money.  

Then he and his partner got the armed robbery call.

"Thirty-six seconds," Hayes said. "From the time I jumped out of the scout car to the time I was laying there fighting for my life."

On Feb. 12, 2005, when he heard that sound, Derrick Hayes thought his time might be up.

"It was survival. It was go home, I've got to get home," he said.

The video dramatization above depicts what happened that night when he and his partner got the call.

Hayes got and out takes down the suspect down in the snow.

"I kind of was wrestling with him, telling him to stop resisting," he said. "I looked up, he started shooting.

"I thought I was paralyzed I couldn't move my legs," he said. "I looked up in the sky, there was just stars. I heard a small voice and it told me it was time to start saving souls."

Shot six times, Hayes said the voice was God telling him exactly what he recently told a group of clergy, who were thinking about becoming chaplains.

He said the message was clear - "'Hayes you are running you’ve got a calling on your life.'"

At that moment, it was time to take off the badge and follow his faith.

"I was left here for a reason - it wasn't just to continually exist," he said. "Officers, they need to know someone's been through this and they are surviving on the other end of it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Because it can be dark, you can get into some dark places."

"People and God just move so quick, I was out of (intensive care) in a week."

Hayes will be on the streets of Detroit not as an officer -- but as a servant of a different kind.

"There is good out here in the world," he said. "And that goodness, and that glory and God in him really shined on my family and myself, and brought us through tough times."

Come May 31, Hayes will graduate as a chaplain for DPD. The department has 85 chaplains and want to have 100. It would like any ordained or licensed man or woman of faith to go through the chaplain training and join their ranks. Their next class is in the fall.