For the second time in two weeks, a Tarrant County police officer has been shot in the line of duty by someone who can only be described as evil.
Most of us try to avoid evil people. Some of us run across them and don’t know it because nothing happens to spark a conflict. Nothing happens, and we go on our way.
Our police officers confront evil people on our behalf every day.
Most of the time, most of us don’t hear about it — except when worse comes to worst.
It’s then that we are reminded how important our police and other law enforcers are to us.
On Wednesday, Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald described officer Matt Pearce, 36, as “still fighting” in the Intensive Care Unit at John Peter Smith Hospital. He was in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital Tuesday afternoon, although one officer said he was “awake, alert and very vocal.”
Pearce and other officers were pursuing a father-son duo, the father a wanted and clearly dangerous fugitive, in a wooded area of west Fort Worth when they were “met with gunfire” a police news release said. Police killed one man and arrested another.
A GoFundMe page set up to benefit Pearce’s family said he was hit seven times, “once in the cheek, twice in the arm, twice in the chest and twice in the leg.”
On March 1, Euless police officer David Hofer was killed by gunfire when he and other officers responded to a report of shots being fired at J.A. Carr Park in Euless. Officers killed the shooter, a 22-year-old drug addict.
Family and loved ones are the most affected.
Hofer was engaged to be married.
Pearce has a wife and two young girls, “one barely a year old, and one three,” says the GoFundMe page set up by a college friend and fraternity brother at Washington State University.
Police brothers and sisters in blue protect one another, and they unite quickly when one of their number is hurt. Fort Worth officers gathered at the hospital Tuesday, as did Fitzgerald and Mayor Betsy Price.
It’s unfortunate that the police who protect and serve us every day and every night seem to get our attention most when they take a bullet (or seven) for us or when one of them does something wrong or is accused of doing wrong.
Those who are accused of something wrong can face a tough disciplinary system and legal prosecution, as they should.
The others, like Hofer and now Pearce, are the ones who do so much for us.
Our hearts and thanks go out to them and their families and loved ones.