Reporting For Duty – Proof Miracles Do Exist

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Tony Maples Photography


Do you believe in miracles? Fort Worth Police Officer Matt Pearce does. With seven bullet wounds puncturing his body, including a collapsed lung, a punctured diaphragm, a shattered right femur, a broken jaw, damage to his liver and spleen, and a nicked heart, Matt Pearce was given a four percent chance of survival. Today, he is back on duty.  Less than a year after facing down that gunman, Pearce is on light duty with the tactical medical unit. He attends physical therapy three times a week and plans to be back on full-time duty in 2017.

According to the Star-Telegram, as “a former firefighter medic in the state of Washington, Pearce said he knew as he lay bleeding that he was hurt critically. He refused to even consider that he might be dying.”

“That’s the one thing that scares the crap out of me — not being around for my kids,” said Pearce. “I think that’s the reason I fought so hard. I remember laying in that field and telling myself, ‘I will not die. I refuse to die. I want to see my kids.’ Family was the first thing that came to mind.”

Officer Matt Pearce and his wife at the hospital

Photo: Facebook/Fort Worth Police Department

Officer Pearce told the Star-Telegram he vividly remembers the shootout. Ed McIver, Sr. and his twenty-year-old son bailed out of a vehicle after refusing to stop for the police. “He fled and jumped the fence and he hunkered down in the grass,” Pearce said. “When I came over the fence, that’s when he stood up out of the grass. I thought he ran up the hill. He hadn’t.”

Pearce continues, “It’s like it’s in the movies where everything slows down to extremely slow motion.

“That’s exactly what happened. I could see the nose of that bullet in the barrel of the gun when he raised it and pointed it at me. It was just that slow.” Pearce said.

Gun still in his holster, the first bullet shattered his femur. Finally able to free his gun from its holster, he returned fire. Bullets pounded into his shoulders and face. He felt his lung collapse.

“It’s like someone just walks up to you and punches you in the stomach as hard as they can,” he said. “Now you’ve got to try to catch your breath but you’ve got to breathe through a straw.”

Officers on scene searched for the suspects and their downed officer. When they spotted just the lower part of a leg protruding from the brush, they didn’t know if they were facing their officer or the gunman. Adrenaline-laced screams of “show your hands” filled the air.

With almost the last reserves of his strength, Pearce called out “Blue” to identify himself as a police officer.

Officer Pearce was commissioned with the Fort Worth Police Department in July of 2009. Although he received awards for bravery, he is quick to point out there were more than 300 other officers out there. Even though Sgt. Luttmer had shot and killed McIver Sr., the son was still on the loose and armed. Everyone on the scene was still in danger.

Pearce is especially grateful to James Mintor and Brandi Kamper. Mintor, the officer who found him, stood guard while Kamper, a tactical medical officer, patched him up while waiting for the helicopter to fly him to the hospital.