Georgia Police Officer Returns to Work 20 Months After Being Shot in the Head

May 22, 2020 Updated: May 22, 2020

A Georgia police officer who battled for his life after he was shot in the head in the line of duty in 2018 has returned to work following a remarkable recovery journey.

On May 18, 2020, the Covington Police Department took to Facebook to share the exciting news that Officer Matt Cooper was back to work.

Officer Cooper is back at work! Welcome back Matt! #148strong

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Covington (Ga.) Police Department‎‏ في الاثنين، ١٨ مايو ٢٠٢٠

However, arriving on this special day wasn’t easy at all. “The Lord blessed me with a second chance,” Cooper told Channel 2 Action News.

On Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2018, Officer Cooper, then 34, was responding to a shoplifting call at Walmart in Industrial Boulevard, according to 11Alive.

Police reports stated that the officers from the Covington Police Department were advised that three suspects, including an 11-year-old, 15-year-old, and an adult, that day were trying to steal red bandanas from inside a store. They were seen concealing items in a large “backpack type bag.”

The C.P.D. would like to thank all Veterans who served our great nation . Pictured below is one of our own , Officer Matt Cooper.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Covington (Ga.) Police Department‎‏ في الاثنين، ١٢ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨

When the officers arrived on the scene shortly before 12:30 p.m., two of the suspects were escorted to the loss-prevention center of Walmart, and the items were returned.

However, a third suspect, who was later identified as 21-year-old Aaron Fleming, ran away. Officer Cooper and a sergeant then tried to search for him by running in a nearby building in the opposite direction. Soon after, the sergeant heard two gunshots and found Officer Cooper to be injured and unconscious. The man accused of shooting the officer was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Once the scene was safe, the two other boys were interviewed and returned to their parents.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Officer Cooper, who was with the police department for 6 years, was shot between his eyes, and the bullet traveled to his carotid artery.

We wanted to make everyone aware that Officer Matt Cooper (Covington Police Department) a 6 year veteran of the CPD ,…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Covington (Ga.) Police Department‎‏ في الاثنين، ٣ سبتمبر ٢٠١٨

The critically wounded officer was initially life-flighted to Atlanta Medical Hospital, where he was being treated. The father of two then went to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he underwent immediate surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, after which he was transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for brain-injury rehabilitation. He remained there for a few days until Christmas 2018.

In the following months, his family and community came forward to support him through his recovery.

A fundraiser by the family helped raise more than $41,000 on a GoFundMe page. Then in the last few months, the officer started to make huge strides on his journey to recovery. He put his heart and soul into physical therapy and started to make progress.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Covington (Ga.) Police Department‎‏ في الجمعة، ٢٧ سبتمبر ٢٠١٩

According to Channel 2 Action News, in September 2019, he made another big development after he led a 1-mile portion of 5K of the annual Fuzz Run that was hosted by the Covington Police Department in his honor.

“It meant the world to me, and to be able to finish with a quick jog for at least 10 feet, it meant a lot to me,” Cooper said.

Alluding to this special moment, Capt. Ken Malcolm with the Covington Police Department said: “He was being told, his family was being told, that he would be in a wheelchair. He would not be in a position to run or walk.”

“So for him to be able to get out and lead hundreds of people in a race is miraculous,” he further added.

OFFICER COOPER TO PARTICIPATE IN FUZZ RUN

SHARE FOR INSPIRATION!Nearly a year ago, Covington Police Officer Matt Cooper came close to losing his life after a shoplifting suspect shot him in the head. But with love, support and hours of rehab and therapy, he has started to regain strength. So much so, he will lead the one-mile portion of his department's annual Fuzz Run next month. I'm told it's his way of giving back to the community that has given so much to him.FOX 5 Atlanta STORY–>http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/covington-officer-matt-cooper-to-participate-in-fuzz-run

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Marissa Mitchell FOX 5‎‏ في الأربعاء، ٢٨ أغسطس ٢٠١٩

Now, 20 months after the incident that changed his life in an instant, he has achieved another milestone by walking through the doors of the Covington Police Department.

“Monday when we sent him off to work, it was so many emotions. So thankful to God that I could even sent him off to work,” his wife, Kristen Cooper, told Channel 2 Action News. “He was smiling so hard that I couldn’t help but smile and be excited for him.”

Today our kids received a rocking horse in honor of my husband, Matt Cooper. We are so blessed that Matt survived his…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Kristen Osburn Cooper‎‏ في السبت، ١٦ فبراير ٢٠١٩

As the police department welcomed back the officer on May 18, 2020, Chief Stacey Cotton said: “It was a day of excitement and relief to see Matt walk back through the door of the Covington Police Department.”

The officer said that he is technically a “volunteer” and is currently working for a few hours a day. However, he is gradually aiming towards coming back on a salary. Cotton also mentioned that Officer Cooper will be doing community outreach, administrative, and support duties.