MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) --Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Alex Barba said the bullet that struck him came within five millimeters of his liver.
"It's obviously an act of God-- it's unheard of to see somebody get shot that close with that kind of caliber."
Barba was shot in the line of duty early September after responding to a domestic disturbance call in Delhi. The suspect, 38-year-old Jose Torres, came out of the home and opened fire striking Barba in the lower abdomen and leg.
"It was kind of a surprise as to why I was getting shot. I didn't see it coming-- everything else happened extremely fast."
Since the shooting, Barba said it's been one medical appointment after another and his family is taking everything one step at a time.
"I'm understanding it a little bit better, things are getting somewhat better."
But Barba isn't alone on his road to recovery-- along with the Merced County Sheriff's Office, nearby agencies in Atwater and Livingston and even police departments in San Francisco and Bakersfield have called and emailed Barba to show their support.
From car washes to online fundraising, to the simple "thank you" on a park bench-- the Delhi community is also coming together to show their love for the deputy.
"I was in awe as to what was really going on and I couldn't really understand it and it hasn't sunk in, but it's just amazing to see and I love it. It's beautiful-- I feel safe at home and it's neat to see."
Barba said even through the pain, he's thankful to have more time with his family.
"My faith is even bigger in God-- I'm thankful and I think it's going to make me a better person."
Barba said he also plans to see a psychiatrist this Friday.
The deputy also is thankful for the other deputy on scene who saved his life and calls him his hero.