PALATKA, Fla. -

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office is thankful that a deputy's weapon malfunctioned and didn't fire when the trigger was pulled Sunday because the gun was being fired at the deputy's chest.

The Sheriff's Office said Deputy Kevin Corbin was off-duty when he stopped to get gas at a Kangaroo store on US 17 and State Road 207 in East Palatka. He saw two groups of men arguing, told them he was a sheriff's deputy, and asked them to break it up.

One group of men left, but another stuck around. Deputies said Kenny Cruz-Rodriguez, 22, and Jorge Santiago-Rodriguez, 19, attacked Corbin. Corbin fired his gun at the two but missed. The sheriff's office said the men were able to get the gun away from Corbin and turned it against him. They said one of them pulled the trigger twice, at point-blank range from Corbin's chest.

The deputy's wife then got out of the car and tried to pull the men off of her husband. Eventually the men took off, but deputies found them nearby. They are charged with attempted murder.

"The exact nature of the malfunction that kept Deputy Corbin's weapon from firing when it was pointed directly at his chest is unclear at the present time," Sheriff Jeff Hardy said. "However, I thank God for watching over our young man and making sure that he made it home safely at the end of the night."