*A Shooting at Arby’s*
By: Hayseed
02 July 2005

Here’s a strange but true story that happened to my cousin many years ago when he was a rookie cop. Rob (the said cousin) hadn’t been on the police department for 8 months yet when a call came from our newly opened Arby’s restaurant that a girl was being threatened by her boyfriend. Several units responded to the call and upon arriving at the restaurant it was found that the girl who was being threatened was an employee and the man was actually threatening to shoot himself, not her.

The police entered the building and tried to get the guy to talk things out. While negotiations were going on the police chief sent Rob around behind the guy to help subdue him. Apparently the man was pretty distraught and as Rob was coming around to grab him, he shot himself and fell to the floor writhing in pain, the gun was kicked away and he was cuffed and put on a stretcher and hauled off to the hospital.

As all this was taking place someone mentioned to Rob that he had a whole in his shirt. As he looked down at the whole in his belly it dawned on him that he had been shot! The bullet had passed through the man who had shot himself and into Rob! Getting weak in the knees he decided it was time to sit down and did so while the other cops called for another ambulance, he hadn’t noticed he’d been shot until someone pointed it out to him! I guess adrenaline can really do some strange things to a person. Rob remained conscience and was transported to the hospital. Little did he know that the bullet had stopped a half inch shy of his aorta; had it traveled just a bit further, he would have been dead before he could have been hauled out of Arby’s.

Now at this point I need to explain that my Mom was an Emergency Room nurse at the local hospital and happened to be working the evening all this happened. The call came in that a police officer had been shot and as Mom helped prepare for him coming in; a doctor came in and told my mother that the officer coming in was her nephew who had just been shot. My mother kicked into overdrive and got everything ready, he came in and was still conscience, but in pretty bad shape. The attending doctor called in Lifeline helicopter to fly Rob up to Methodist hospital in Indianapolis where he could get the advanced care that was required.

Now it just so happens that I had been at an aerobics class with Rob’s girlfriend when another cop came and told us he’d been shot. I have never felt so instantly sick before in my life. We drove to Morgan County hospital where we were greeted by our uncle Tom (who happens to be the Superior Court judge here in town) and he told us Rob was leaving on the helicopter and was in pretty bad shape, but he would be okay. While Rob’s girlfriend went in to see him before he left, Tom and I stepped aside and he told me what had happened.

After getting Rob on the helicopter, the chief of police (who is also an old family friend) drove my Mom to Methodist hospital to be with Rob through surgery. I remember my mom telling that at every intersection between Morgan County Hospital and Methodist Hospital there was a policeman stopping traffic so that they could get through - and that was a good 30 miles through 2 different counties! We got a hold of Rob’s parents while Rob was taking his helicopter ride and they had a 3 hour drive to get to the hospital; a very nerve racking 3 hours to say the least. He is now a detective and is a big advocate for wearing body armor, which is now mandatory.

That night the events of the evening were all over the news along with a goofy picture of Rob in his uniform. If anyone ever complains about how hot and uncomfortable body armor is then I suggest they discuss it with Rob or anyone else who’s ever taken a bullet. I’m betting they’ll think less about comfort and be grateful that Kevlar exists! End of story.

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