A Minnesota police officer, shot in the head while on duty, is finally returning home to Waseca after a lengthy rehabilitation.
As Officer Arik Matson returns home on Oct. 19, his loyal community has planned a welcome brigade fit for a hero.
“The day we have hoped for is finally almost here,” Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought shared in a statement. “Arik will soon be home with his family, his law enforcement family, and his friends. We have missed him tremendously and will continue to support him as he recovers from his injuries.”
Community members are planning to line at the sidewalks of State Street on Highway 13 while adhering to social distancing guidelines as Matson arrives home. A convoy of emergency vehicles will escort the officer past the public in a drive-by, and well-wishers will be handing out Thin Blue Line wristbands printed with 22 stars, representing Matson’s badge number: 222.
Matson was shot when he and several other officers responded to a tip-off about a suspicious individual on Jan. 6, reports Fox 9. The suspect, Tyler Janovsky, escaped onto the roof of a garage and fired shots toward the officers. Matson sustained a gunshot wound to the head.
Janovsky has since been charged with three counts of attempted murder. Meanwhile, miraculously, Matson survived.
After six months of intensive rehabilitation at three different hospitals, the officer recorded an update video for all who were concerned about his progress. “There’s nothing I want more than to get home to my wife and my daughters and my family and get back to living the life I was living before,” he said.
“Thank you for all the encouragement,” Matson continued, adding that he had received myriad cards, gifts, and even a care package from the Minnesota Vikings, his favorite football team.
On Oct. 14, Waseca Police Department hailed Matson’s homecoming with a tribute to his ordeal, and recovery, on Facebook. “We have amazing news to share with you!” they began. “Officer Arik Matson. … is coming home.”
Vought added, “deepest gratitude” to the first responders and medics who saved Matson’s life, the law enforcement officers who have watched over him, and well-wishers from across the nation.
“Your support will never be forgotten,” Vought said.
We would love to hear your stories! You can share them with us at email@example.com