Fortville officer returns to duty after shooting

Fortville Police Officer Matt Fox

A central Indiana police officer is back on patrol after he nearly lost his life in the line of duty.

This week, it will be six months since Fortville Police Officer Matt Fox was shot nine times, including once in the head. Three surgeries and months of rehabilitation later, Fox returned to the same job that almost cost him his life.

Fox slept soundly Monday night. He says he never doubted Tuesday he would finally be back behind the wheel of his police car again, after being shot nearly six months ago.

A checkup Tuesday morning gave him the answer he was waiting to hear.

"The doctor said, 'You're good.' Gave me a piece of paper, signed it and said, 'Go to work. See ya'," Fox said.

So Fox returned to patrol the streets with his K-9 partner Lannie in tow, making traffic stops, like he was doing last July, when a man he was trying to pull over for a missing tail light, ambushed him and shot him as he sat in his patrol car.

"I don't think it will ever go away. I don't think you can ever block something like that," Fox said.

He has watched the police car video of that night many times over. He doesn't have to, though, to remember how it went down.

"I think about it all the time. There's never a day that doesn't go by or an hour that doesn't go by that you have flashbacks," Fox explained.

Those memories haven't stopped the police officer from coming back to a job he loves.

"I think I'm strong, because if I wasn't, I probably wouldn't. I'd just hang up the gun belt and go find something else, but this is what I want to do," Fox said.

Fox has proven that through three surgeries, months of rehabilitation and even counseling to get back to being fit for police work.

"I had said from day one, 'I want to be back in less than six months'," Fox said.

Now, back he is, ready to face whatever comes while serving and protecting the public.

"I always knew there was always a chance that something like that could happen," Fox admitted.

For Fox, it already has and he's still here to talk about it.

"I'll do this job until I'm unable," said Fox.

Right now, though, that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon.