WATCH: Indiana officer’s harrowing shooting caught on dash cam. ‘I didn’t think I was going to live,’ says shot cop - NY Daily News
Indiana police officer Matt Fox always knew it was a possibility he could be shot on duty, but when it happened, he didn’t expect to survive.
Now, more than a month after being shot multiple times during what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop, Fox, 30, is ready to talk about the terrifying ordeal.
“I didn’t think I was going to live,” the veteran Fortville officer said of the July 27 incident that was caught on dash cam.
“I don't even know the words to describe it. It's a very terrifying moment, especially being hit as many times as I was."
In the video, Fox begins a car pursuit of James Lockhart III, 27, who refused to pull over for a broken taillight. Lockhart eventually jumps from his Volvo and fires multiple rounds directly at Fox before speeding away. The suspected gunman was later killed in a shootout with police and a cache of weapons and a pound of marijuana was found in his car, law enforcement officials said.
"I knew I got hit in the head," Fox told the Indianapolis Star of the shooting. “A head shot is often a fatal injury or a life-changing injury (where) you might be alive but have mental issues from the injuries."
Fox was hit by at least four other bullets, with wounds to his hands, chest and forearm. He has had speech, memory, and balance problems but Fox, the father of a 4-year-old daughter, says he’s on the road to recovery and intends to return to duty.’
“I'm making progress every day. It will be five weeks Friday (since the shooting). My balance was off. Now I've passed all my balance tests with flying colors."
Though he refused to speculate on whether he could have pulled his gun earlier, he is certain he followed protocol.
Watch Fox's interview
"Most law abiding citizens always stop for lights, for a police officer, so when somebody's not wanting to pull over and takes off, it heightens your awareness of what's going on," Fox said. "Did this guy just commit a murder? You don't know...It definitely gets your adrenaline running."
The incident also reminded him of his priorities. The wounded officer spent his 30th birthday in July recovering in the hospital.
‘"It definitely gives you a better sense of how precious life is," he said, "and how life could change in a matter of a split second."