FALMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - A Falmouth police officer shot in the line of duty more than a year ago is bringing awareness to the support that officers like him need as he makes strides on his road to recovery.
As the nation celebrated National Law Enforcement Day, Officer Donald DeMiranda sat down to talk about the night of July 27, 2018 for the first time with 7NEWS. He says what transpired has changed the course of his life forever.
“I called my wife and told her I was on my way to the hospital, I had been shot, meet me there,” the 37-year-old said. “That’s when you are thinking this is where it is going to end.”
Officers DeMiranda and Ryan Moore responded to a disturbance call on Ashley Drive in East Falmouth that night and when they arrived, investigators say Malik Koval was breaking bottles in the street.
When the officers tried to talk to the then 21-year-old, they said he got angry, ran inside his home and began firing at them.
“My thoughts are just handle the situation, check everybody and get help yourself,” DeMiranda said. “I do not remember too many thoughts until I got into the ambulance.”
The officers began returning fire and ended up striking Koval.
Officer Moore was grazed in the back of the head, while DeMiranda sustained more serious injuries. He was struck in the shoulder and chest and credits his bulletproof vest with saving his life.
“One point I was checking myself and I felt something on my chest,” he recalled. “It worked. I cannot empathize it enough. It worked.”
DeMiranda said he did not even know he had been shot until it was all over.
The officers have been recognized for their heroism and among other awards, were presented with the medal of honor — the department’s highest award.
DeMiranda said the support he has received from the department and the community has been overwhelming.
“I am thankful I am home with my kids I go to all of their events, all of their plays, what more can you want,” he said.
Due to the psychological trauma the officers have endured, they are unable to return to active duty.
The town has sent a letter to a legislator asking them to allow the officers to take an early retirement. A decision has not yet been made.
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