On September 3, 2018, Covington Police Officer Matt Cooper responded to a shoplifting call at a Walmart involving three people. Two men were arrested immediately, but a third suspect fled on foot. Officer Cooper chased the suspect, who he lost sight of around a building. As Cooper rounded the corner of the building, the suspect ambushed him and fired one round at him.
A .38 special ball projectile struck Cooper in the bridge of his nose, between the eyes. The bullet traveled to Cooper’s carotid artery, miraculously clotting his blood, and saving his life.
Officer Cooper, a father of two and a former Army Airborne veteran, had a long road to recovery, undergoing several surgeries and enduring months of rehabilitation after being shot in the head.
After nearly two years of recovery, Officer Cooper brought both his badge and the bullet he was shot with back to work.
“I survived two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan; I survived getting shot in the face. I don’t think God is done with me yet,” Cooper said. “I want to stay with the Police Department and go to training so I can train new officers, and be there as an open ear for people who are struggling and need somebody to talk to. I’ve been through some of the worst hell that I can think of, so I can just be there to help somebody.”
Justin Conley was shot in the back with a .357 Magnum during a running gunfight in a police station parking lot.
Matt Hanlin was shot in gun battle with a suspect during a raid on a meth house in Middleburg, FL.