DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas Police officer who was shot and wounded last week is telling his story of survival and recovery exclusively to CBS 11 News.
Senior Corporal Matt Wagner is out of the hospital but he’s still in a lot of pain.
His experience reveals the danger officers are exposed to while working off duty jobs just to make extra money for their families.
The 33-year-old officer survived two bullet wounds sustained during a confrontation with a suspicious man in the parking lot of a Northeast Dallas apartment complex last week. “Just got real lucky didn’t really hit anything vital,” says Wagner.
Police say Jason Yarborough fired the shots that hit Wagner in the arm and hip. “It kind of happened so fast I really didn’t have time to figure out what was going on,” says Wagner.
The injured officer says he ducked behind his car with the shooter fled still firing at him. ”It was time to go into survival mode,” says Wagner. I just tried to keep myself calm do some deep breathing and wait for help to arrive.”
Wagner’s help came from fellow officers who took him to the hospital in a patrol car. That’s when he made the call his wife always feared she would get. “It made me shake, burn, cry, it was horrific,” says Sarah Wagner.
“I told her I’m awake and calm right now,” says the officer.
The couple has a 12-year-old daughter and Wagner says family and faith are the reasons he is still here today.
Wagner says the unexpected support police and the public has made him eager to put his uniform back on.
“It blew my mind really humbled me,” says Wagner. “As soon as I can I’m ready to go back to work even more proud to work for this department now.”
Wagner is especially grateful for the Dallas Police Association’s Assist the Officer program which has a special fund for his family and provides all kinds of support including financial after injuries and deaths.
Anyone interested in contributing to the family’s needs can go to atodallas.org or deliver it to the Dallas Police Association 1412 Griffin St. East Dallas Texas 75215.
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