Wounded Fort Worth police officer Matt Pearce remained in critical condition on Thursday and was “fighting, continuing to fight” two days after being shot while pursuing a suspect in far west Fort Worth.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said Pearce’s condition remains unchanged but doctors were thinking about waking him this afternoon, which Fitzgerald said he took as a positive development.
Pearce was chasing a father and son from Parker County in a wooded area Tuesday when he was shot multiple times with a handgun. Some of the gunfight was captured by Pearce’s body camera, a police spokeswoman said.
Pearce was wearing body armor but that protects only the chest area, spokeswoman Tamara Valle said.
“It’s not going to stop every bullet,” Valle said.
Video shows ambush
Star-Telegram partner WFAA quoted Cpl. Tracey Knight, another police spokeswoman, saying that Pearce was “ambushed” as he climbed over a barbed-wire fence.
The body cam video shows Pearce moving through heavy brush off Longvue Avenue and climbing over the fence when Ed R. McIver began shooting at him.
Pearce emptied the magazine of his handgun returning fire at McIver as he fell and radioed a shots-fired call.
McIver fired again at the officer. Then another officer arrived and shot McIver.
Pearce called out “officer down,” but he did not press his radio microphone, so no other officers heard him.
A responding officer saw Pearce’s feet sticking out of brush and yelled, “Show me your hands.” Pearce struggled to say “blue, blue,” identifying himself as a police officer.
The responding officer said, “Oh my gosh, Matt, where are you hit?”
Pearce replied, “Everywhere.”
Stuck in the mud
McIver, 42, was an ex-con with a lengthy criminal past. His son, Ed McIver Jr., 20, was captured three hours later after a manhunt in the area west of Loop 820 West between Interstates 20 and 30.
At the news conference, Fitzgerald said Pearce, also a paramedic, instructed the officers who found him on how to treat his wounds. And an officer who helped treat Pearce’s wounds had been trained as an emergency medical technician, Valle said.
Police tried to use Pearce’s Tahoe to move him to an area where he could be taken to the hospital, but it got stuck in the mud twice, Valle said. The first time police were able to free the SUV from the mud, Valle said.
“Finally, they just put him on a stretcher and walked him to CareFlite that way,” Valle said.
Pearce’s wife, Laura, who is a nurse, his family and the police have been buoyed by the outpouring of support.
Pearce, 36, is “fighting, continuing to fight,” Fitzgerald said.
The younger McIver remains in the Mansfield Jail with bail set at more than $2 million. He faces charges of attempted capital murder, evading arrest and unlawfully carrying a weapon. He also faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance; police say Ecstasy was found in the SUV’s passenger seat.