Virginia State Trooper speaks out after the two men who shot at him and robbed a bank were sentenced

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 19:16:19-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Tuesday's sentencing of Rory Diggs, marks the end of a two year legal battle and for Virginia State Trooper Sgt. James Pew, and a new beginning.

Sgt Pew nearly lost his life on December 5, 2014. It was the day he encountered Rory Diggs and James Lewis shortly after the two men robbed a Virginia Beach bank.

The two men shot at Sgt. Pew 29 times after he got in the way of their escape. Diggs and Lewis had parked their getaway car on street near where Sgt. Pew lives. He happened to be investigating the vehicle when the two men pulled up to the car and opened fire.

"I came really close to death and a lot of things flashed before my eyes," said Sgt. Pew. "I looked up at the sky and told God please don't take me today."

Sgt. Pew survived the shooting, coming out with only a bullet graze to the side of his head, but his emotional scars are still there and he isn't the only one who has them.

Sgt. Pew's family took the stand during Diggs and Lewis' sentencing. The family members read their impact letters explaining how the shooting has left them re-learning how to live.

While the Pew family and people inside the bank when it was robbed took the stand, Diggs and Lewis looked down, not showing any emotion.

"We are not the same people were just trying to find normal again," said Sgt. Pew.

Colin Stolle with the Commonwealth's Attorney's office hopes that the judge's ruling can start the healing process for all impacted by the two men's actions.

"I am very pleased for the Pew family, I'm very pleased for everyone that was in the bank that day," said Stolle. "This can hopefully begin to bring them some kind of closure to this matter."

The judge sentenced both Lewis and Diggs to 63 years in prison with 23 years suspended. In total the men will each serve 40 years in prison.